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Purchased  by  the  Hammill   Missior.ary  Fund. 

BV  3503  .R62  1892 
Robertson,  William. 
The  martyrs  of  Blantyre 













Srronti  <!rliition 









QTijis   3LittIe  Book 



This  book  is  issued  as  a  simple  memorial  of  three 
devoted  lives.  Those  whose  story  it  tells  were 
"Martyrs,"  not  in  the  sense  of  having  been  slain  for 
the  truth,  but  in  the  no  less  real  sense  of  being 
Witnesses  for  the  testimony  of  Jesus  Christ,  who,  with 
unswerving  courage  and  devotion,  laid  down  their  lives 
in  the  African  mission-field.  The  aim  of  the  book 
is  to  give,  in  a  short  simple  sketch,  such  a  glimpse  of 
them  and  their  work  as  will  convey  to  the  reader  some 
idea  of  what  manner  of  men  they  were  and  what  kind 
of  work  they  did  foi  Africa.  It  is  not  in  any  sense  a 
complete  biography  of  any  of  them,  nor  does  it  touch 
at  all  on  questions  of  either  Mission  or  State  policy. 
Every  eflfort  has  been  made,  however,  to  secure  that  it 
should  be  reliable,  and  all  the  information  contained 
in  it  accurate  and  up  to  date. 

If  it  should  be  the  means  of  helping  any  one  to  a 
clearer  appreciation  of  what  life  in  the  African  mission- 

viii  PREFACE. 

field  is,  or  of  begetting  in  any  heart  a  deeper  sympathy 
with  those  who  are  labouring  there,  it  will  have  served 
its  purpose. 

I  desire  to  record  loy  thanks  to  the  many  friends, 
both  here  and  in  Africa,  to  whose  kindness  I  have 
been  indebted  for  help  in  its  preparation  and  for  the 
perusal  of  letters  and  other  sources  of  information, 
Acknowledgment  is  also  due  to  the  representatives 
of  The  Mission  Record  and  the  Foreign  Mission  Com- 
mittee for  the  facilities  and  assistance  which  they  have 
cordially  afforded  me. 

May  God  use  the  story  of  those  who  now  rest  from 
their  labours  to  inspire  others  to  a  like  faith  with 

Edinbubgh.  February  1892. 



I.  Introduction •    .  1 1 

II.  The  Prayer  of  the  Dead  Livingstone  and  its 

Answer .  17 

III.  Blantyre 35 

IV.  Henry  Henderson,  the  Pionker  .        .         •        •  53 
V.  Dr.  John  Bowie,  Medical  Missionary        .        .  75 

VI.  Robert  Cleland,  the  Missionary  of  Milanje  .     103 
VII.  Conclusion 139 


I.  Staff  of  thk  Blantyre  Mission     .        .        .147 
II.  Minute  op  General  Assembly  on  the  Deaths 

OF  Missionaries  at  Blantyre      .        .         .     148 


New  Church,  Blantyre Frontispiece 

An  African  Home Page  39 

Manganja  and  Yao ,,50 

Portraits  of  Mr.  and  Mrs.  HENCERbON        .        •       ,,    55 

Portrait  of  Dr.  Bowie ,,77 

Portrait  of  the  Rev.  Eobert  Cleland         .        .       :•  105 

Chart  of  Shir6  Highlands  showing  the  Mission 
Stations  of  the  Church  of  Scotland,  by  the  Rev. 
A.  Hetherwick,  F.R.G.S at  end 





The  eyes  of  the  world  are  on  Africa  at  present.  One 
cannot  take  up  a  newspaper  without  finding  the 
Dark  Continent,  in  one  or  other  of  its  great  regions, 
— Northern,  Southern,  Central, — claiming  attention  by 
the  doings  of  the  explorer,  the  soldier,  the  politician, 
or  the  missionary.  Every  now  and  again  a  quiver  of 
interest  thrills  through  the  Cabinets  of  Europe  at  the 
surgings  to  and  fro  in  the  great  scramble  for  Africa ; 
while,  on  the  other  hand,  the  inrush  of  European  life 
— English,  German,  Portuguese — with  its  diverse  in- 
fiuences,  and  the  formation  of  great  chartered  com- 
panies, all  eager  to  colonise,  to  claim,  to  annex,  is  stirring 
the  stagnant  pool  of  African  life.  The  evolutions  are 
rapid,  and  almost  before  the  world  has  had  time  to 
take  in  the  situation  which  one  ferment  has  produced 
the  state  of  things  has  changed  and  another  has  begun. 
Struggle  and  death,  prospect  and  progress,  initial  defeat 
and  final  triumph,  follow  each  other  in  rapid  succes- 
sion. The  expectation  of  yesterday  is  realised  to-day 
and  to-morrow  is  left  behind.     The  map  of  Africa  is 


changing  so  quickly  that  the  geographer  has  a  liard 
time  keeping  it  up  to  date,  and  the  public  can 
hardly  find  leisure  to  make  and  keep  themselves 
familiar  with  it. 

In  that  swift  rush  the  changes  are  so  many  and  the 
events  so  important,  that  we  are  apt  to  lose  sight  of 
the  men  whose  courage  and  devotion  are  achieving 
these  results.  Once  in  a  while  a  Stanley,  a  Gordon,  or 
a  Hannington  rivets  public  attention  for  a  moment 
and  becomes  known  to  the  world.  But  of  the  larcje 
number  of  devoted  men  and  women  whose  life  and 
labours  have  gone  to  the  making  of  Africa,  only  a  very 
few  are,  to  most  people,  anything  more  than  mere 
names.  Yet  never  to  have  had  even  if  it  were  but  a 
glimpse  of  such  lives  is  to  miss  a  great  deal  that  helps 
one  to  understand  Africa  and  the  problems  it  presents. 

This  is  emphatically  true  of  those  who  have  laboured 
and  died  in  the  mission-field,  and  nowhere  is  it  more 
strikingly  true  than  in  that  part  of  Central  Africa 
opened  up  by  the  explorations  of  Livingstone,  and 
which  is  now  being  won  for  Christianity  by  those  who 
have  followed  in  his  footsteps.  To  know  them  and 
their  work  brings  one  into  touch,  not  only  with  the 
progress  of  civilisation,  but  with  the  coming  of  the 
kingdom  of  God  there. 

Among  the  many  followers  of  Livingstone  the  three 
whose  story  this  little  book  tells  were  men  that  were 
"worth  the  knowing,"  and  many  considerations  make 
it  fitting  that  the  three  lives  should  be  linked  together. 


They  were  all  Scotchmen.  They  were  all  sons  of  tlie 
University  of  Edinburgh.  They  were  all  in  the  service 
of  the  Church  of  Scotland's  Mission  at  Blantyre,  in 
the  Shir^  Hills,  and  so  were  intimate  personal  friends. 
One  was  a  pioneer  missionary,  one  a  medical  missionary, 
and  one  an  ordained  minister  of  Jesus  Christ ;  but  all 
three  were  men  of  the  Livingstone  type,  unwavering 
in  determination,  unfailing  in  their  faith  in  God,  and 
unwearying  in  their  devotion  to  Africa  and  their  love 
for  the  African.  A  further  and  sad  link  of  association 
is  found  in  the  fact  that  they  fell  almost  together  in 
swift  succession.  Although,  by  the  goodness  of  God, 
the  Blantyre  Mission  during  its  fifteen  years  of  brave 
and  trying  work  had  never  been  called  to  mourn  a  man 
taken  from  its  staff  by  death,  yet  within  three  short 
months  (November  1890  to  February  1891)  these  three 
— first  Cleland,  then  Bowie,  then  Henderson — were 
each  laid  in  an  African  grave;  while  Mrs.  Henderson 
and  their  only  child  were  also  taken  at  the  same 
time.  It  was  a  dark,  sad  time,  and  in  its  sorrowful 
remembrance  the  three  names  will  be  linked  together. 
They  did  not  fall  by  the  spear  or  assegai  of  the 
savage,  yet  none  the  less  truly  did  each  of  them,  with 
a  devotion  which  regarded  not  himself,  lay  down  his 
life  a  witness  for  the  Gospel  of  Jesus  Christ.  Each  life 
had  its  own  story,  and  it  has  been  thought  best  to  tell 
each  by  itself  It  is  believed,  too,  that  the  story  of  the 
lives  will  be  more  sympathetically  read  if  their  environ- 
ment is  understood ;  and   therefore  we  give   a  short 

t6  introduction. 

sketch  of  the  great  cause  in  which  they  enlisted, — the 
cause  of  Christian  Missions  in  East  Central  Africa, — 
with  a  more  particular  account  of  the  Mission  at 
Blantyre,  to  the  building  up  of  which  they  gave 
their  labours  and  their  lives. 


EJe  praurr  of  tjje  ©eatr  lEi^mofStone  antr 
its  ^nstofr» 



Every  one  reraembei-s  how,  on  May  Day   1873,  in  a 

poor  grass  hut  at  Ilala,  on  the  shores  of  Lake  Bang- 

weolo,  the  dead  Livingstone  was  found  kneeling  by 

his  bed  in  the  attitude  of  prayer.     In  loneliness  and 

weakness,  wasted  by  sickness  and  weary  with  many 

wanderings,  he  had  died  as  he  had  lived — praying, — and 

on  the  breath  of  that  last  prayer  the  weary  spirit  had 

gone  home  to  God.     It  was  a  sight  to  touch  men's 

hearts  ;  but  there,  in  the  lonely  African  forest,  there 

was  no  white  man  to  look  on  it  or  to  tell  the  world 

what   it    was.     Only   the    dark   African    saw   it,    and 

though   he  bowed  reverently  before  it,  what  was  he 

that  he   should  be  able  to   catch    the    spirit   of  that 

scene  or  interpret  it  for  the  strange  world  without? 

Yet  the  silent  prayer  of  those  cold  lips,  the  pathetic 

appeal  of  that  pale   face  buried  in  the  folded  hands, 

spoke  with  a  voice  that  would  not  be  silent,  and  with 

a  power  that  would  not  be  repressed  until  it  had  not 

only  reached  the  ear  of  God,  but  moved  the  hearts  of 

men  to  the  uttermost  ends  of  the  earth.     Wave  upon 



wave,  in  ever-widening  circles,  the  voice  of  that  prayer 
was  borne  till  from  all  Christendom  there  came  an 
answer  to  its  cry.  The  cold  lips  were  now  dumb,  but 
the  prayer  of  the  life  spoke  instead  till  men  could  not 
help  but  hear.  That  poor  kneeling  form  seemed  the 
very  embodiment  of  all  the  prayers,  the  expression  of 
all  the  labours  of  the  devoted  life  which  had  been  poured 
out,  a  sacrifice  for  Africa.  It  seemed  to  pour  a  spirit 
of  burning  fire  into  many  a  prayer  that  he  had  offered 
and  many  an  appeal  that  he  had  made  while  he  was 
here,  till  they  came  back  and  scorched  the  hearts  that 
had  been  deaf  to  them  before.  "  May  the  blessing  of 
God  rest,"  those  lips  had  once  said,  and  now  the  spent 
life  seemed  to  echo  it — "  May  the  blessing  of  God  rest 
on  the  man,  be  he  Englishman  or  American  or  Turk, 
who  will  heal  this  open  sore  of  the  world."  "  I  have 
opened  the  door,"  the  living  voice  had  said  to  the 
students  at  Cambridge,  and  now  the  voice  of  the  dead 
seemed  to  repeat  it — "  I  have  opened  the  door :  see 
that  you  let  no  man  shut  it !  " 

How  the  cry  of  that  finished  life  was  borne  from 
land  to  land  !  First  the  dark  Makololo  heard  it  as 
they  looked  into  the  empty  hut,  and  it  caught  them 
like  a  spell.  Under  its  influence  they  tenderly  lifted 
the  body  of  their  dead  leader  and  bore  it  through 
countless  miles  of  forest  to  the  sea-coast,  and  thence 
across  the  sea,  till  they  saw  it  laid  with  the  honoured 
dead  of  his  own  land.  But  they  did  more,  else  -the 
voice   of    the   dead   had   lost   half  its   power.      They 


gathered  together  with  afi'ectionate  carefulness  all 
those  note-books  and  papers  of  which  he  had  taken 
such  care,  and  at  which  they  had  so  often  seen  him 
writing  laboriously  when  head  and  hand  were  alike 
weary ;  and  with  such  scrupulous  care  did  they  carry 
them  to  England  that,  when  they  were  opened  and 
examined,  it  was  found  that  the  papers  presented  a 
continuous  narrative  of  seven  years'  exploration  and 
experience  without  a  single  h7'eak, — not  one  entry  being 
lost  or  one  word  destroyed!  One  hardly  knows 
whether  most  to  admire  the  faithfulness  or  to  marvel 
at  the  feat.  Surely  God  had  designed  that  the  appeal 
of  the  dead  Livingstone  should  not  be  silenced,  even 
by  death  in  the  solitude  of  the  African  forest. 

Then  Europe  and  America  heard,  and  stood  still  a 
moment  to  listen,  as  to  a  cry  for  help.  That  cry  awoke 
in  the  heart  of  civilization  feelings  of  indignant  shame 
that  the  horrible  trade  in  human  flesh  should  be  allowed 
to  continue  after  Livingstone  had  shown  it  up  and  died 
to  destroy  it.  Once  awakened,  civilization  called  for 
more  light  and  fuller  knowledge  of  ''that  unknown 
land,"  and  time  and  again  the  explorer  went  forth 
to  search  its  depths  and  bring  back  such  knowledge 
of  it  as  could  be  gathered.  Stanley,  Thomson, 
Cameron,  Keith  Johnstone,  Wissmann,  and  other 
travellers  followed  each  other  in  rapid  succession,  till 
by-and-by  the  woi'ld  began  to  know  something  of  the 
land  and  the  people  that  were  enshrined  in  the  prayer 
of  the  dead  Livingstone. 


But, — most  momentous  of  all, — that  cry  awoke  the 
Church  of  God.  At  sound  of  it  men  caught  the  glow 
of  the  Livingstone  spirit — that  spirit  which  he  had 
caught  from  a  Greater  than  himself — and  a  desire 
arose  to  enter  this  land  of  suffering  and  blood,  to 
cleanse  it  of  its  horrors  and  claim  it  and  its  people 
for  the  living  Christ.  As  with  one  impulse,  the  hearts 
of  men  in  different  branches  of  the  Christian  Church 
were  moved  to  send  to  its  down-trodden  races  the  glad 
tidings  of  salvation,  liberty  to  the  captives,  and  joy  to 
the  oppressed.  In  the  words  of  Livingstone  himself, 
"  the  end  of  the  geographical  feat  was  the  beginning 
of  missionary  enterprise."  The  dreams  of  one  period 
became  the  realities  of  the  next.  The  vision  that  had 
cheered  the  weary  steps  of  the  great  explorer  began 
almost  at  once  to  be  realised.  He  had  tracked  the 
path  of  the  Arab  caravan  along  the  great  slave-route 
from  Zanzibar  into  the  interior,  and  again  up  the  great 
waterway  of  Central  Africa  by  the  Zambezi  and  the 
Shire,  through  the  Shire  Hills  to  Lake  Shirwa,  and 
over  the  tableland  to  Lake  Nyasa,  and  everywhere 
along  both  routes  he  saw  the  slaver's  trail.  Every- 
where he  saw  the  villainous  Arab  march  inland  in 
quest  of  ivory,  provoking  war,  burning  villages,  scatter- 
ing slaughter  and  ruin  among  the  natives,  and  then 
return  with  his  capture  of  ivory  and  his  gang  of  slaves, 
who  had  to  drag  their  way  through  such  unspeakable 
suffering  and  horrors  that  only  one  out  of  every  ten  of 
them  ever  reached  the  coast  to  be  sold  and  shipped  off, 


although  a  British  Consul  at  Zanzibar  has  stated  that 
no  fewer  than  19,000  slaves  are  exported  annually 
from  that  part  of  Africa  alone.  It  made  him  heart-sore 
to  see,  as  he  said,  "strings  of  wretched  slaves  yoked 
together  in  their  heavy  slave-sticks,  some  carrying 
ivory,  others  copper,  or  food  for  the  march ;  whilst 
hope  and  fear,  misery  and  villainy,  may  be  read  off  on 
the  various  faces  that  pass  in  line  out  of  this  country, 
like  a  serpent  dragging  its  accursed  folds  away  from 
the  victim  it  has  paralysed  with  its  fangs."  Then  he 
prayed  for  a  time  when  along  that  same  route  there 
would  flow  from  a  Christian  world  without,  into  the 
heart  of  that  Dark  Continent,  thus  cursed  with  sin 
and  suffering,  a  stream  of  life  bearing  the  light  of  God 
and  the  blessings  of  Christianity.  He  knew  that  that 
time  would  come,  and  that  it  could  only  come  through 
a  great  uprising  of  missionai-y  devotion,  and  he  prayed 
for  that.  Now,  when  his  eye  was  not  there  to  see  nor 
his  hand  to  welcome  it,  the  answer  to  his  prayer  came. 
As  you  have  seen  star  after  star  break  through  the  dark- 
ness of  an  autumn  night,  so  did  Mission  after  Mission 
appear  shining  out  in  that  African  darkness,  each 
star  a  little  world  of  life  and  love, — each  a  Bethlehem 
star  telling  by  its  light  that  the  Redeemer  had  come. 
Entering  from  the  east  coast  and  moving  up  that  great 
waterway  which  he  himself  had  discovered,  the  rising 
tide  of  the  new  life  began  to  flow,  bearing  on  its  bosom 
God's  answer  to  his  prayers. 

The  first  to  come  was  The  Universities'  Mission.    Like 


au  evening  star  shining  faintly  before  the  sunset,  it 
came  before  Livingstone  had  died,  but  it  was  the  first- 
fruits  of  his  labours.  So  far  back  as  1857  he  had, 
when  in  England,  addressed  a  crowded  meeting  of 
students  at  Cambridge,  and  in  closing  an  impassioned 
appeal  to  them  he  said,  "  I  go  back  to  Africa  to  try  to 
make  an  open  path  for  commerce  and  Christianity.  Do 
you  carry  out  the  work  which  I  have  begun.  I  leave 
IT  WITH  YOU."  The  response  to  that  appeal  was  the 
combination  of  the  universities  of  England  and  Ireland 
for  the  formation  and  support  of  a  Universities'  Mission 
to  Central  Africa,  and  the  despatch  in  October  i860  of 
a  Mission  party,  under  the  direction  of  a  Scotchman, 
Bishop  Mackenzie,  who  was  accompanied  by  two 
clergymen  and  the  now  famous  Horace  Waller,  after- 
wards editor  of  Livingstone's  last  Journals — not  then, 
however,  in  Holy  Orders,  but  acting  as  a  lay  super- 

Their  instructions  being  to  establish  a  Mission  "  in 
the  footsteps  of  Livingstone,"  the  party  settled  at 
Magomero,  near  Lake  Shirwa,  among  the  Manganja 
people  dwelling  on  the  hills  to  the  east  of  the  River 
Shir^.  The  sad  story  of  this  Mission,  its  misfortunes, 
and  the  circumstances  which  led  to  its  withdi'awal  after 
the  death  of  Bishop  Mackenzie,  who  died  of  fever  at  a 
place  near  the  mouth  of  the  Ruo,  two  hundred  miles 
inland,  have  already  been  told.  It  had  to  retire  from 
the  Shire  region,  transferring  the  sphere  of  its  opera- 
tions to  Zanzibar,  but  it  left  behind  it  as  one  of  the 


landmarks  pointing  the  way,  the  grave  of  Bishop 
Mackenzie,  with  a  rough  iron  cross  which  Livingstone 
afterwards  planted  over  it,  and  the  memory  among  the 
natives  of  a  brave  and  good  man,  whom  they  remem- 
bered as  "Muntu  oa  nkoma  ntima" — a  man,  of  a  sweet 

In  more  recent  days  the  Universities  Mission  has 
again  worked  its  way,  by  a  succession  of  mission- 
stations,  from  Zanzibar  northward  to  Usambara  on 
the  one  hand,  and  on  the  other  along  the  line  of  the 
Kovuma  westward  to  those  Shir^  Hills  and  Nyasaland, 
one  of  its  most  interesting  and  active  stations  being 
on  Likoma  Island  in  Lake  Nyasa,  a  centre  from  which, 
by  iheans  of  its  missionary  steamer,  the  Charles  Janson, 
it  carries  the  light  to  various  places  along  the  shore 
of  the  lake  ;  while  the  repeated  journeys  of  Bishop 
Smythies  over  the  wide  tract  of  country  placed  under 
his  care,  and  the  devoted  labours  of  such  men  as  Arch- 
deacon Maples,  the  Rev.  W.  P.  Johnson,  and  other 
members  of  the  Mission  staff,  are  fast  kindling  the  light 
of  God  in  the  heart  of  that  land  of  darkness. 

But  the  early  days  of  this  Mission  were  before  the 
Church  had  awakened  at  the  news  of  Livingstone's 
death.  When  that  came  men's  hearts  were  stirred, 
and  his  own  countrymen  especially  felt  that  it  would 
be  shame  indeed  upon  them  if  that  opened  door  were 
DOW  allowed  to  be  closed.  Accordingly,  almost  simul- 
taneously there  arose  in  all  the  Presbyterian  Churches 
of  Scotland   a   movement   in  favour   of  orofanisinsr  a 


missionary  invasion  of  East  Central  Africa,  with  the 
Zambezi  and  Shire  as  its  ronte,  and  Lake  Nyasa  and  the 
Shiru  Highlands  as  the  field  of  its  conquest.  The  enter- 
prise of  the  Free  Church  led  the  way ;  the  Church  of 
Scotland,  inspired  by  the  zeal  of  the  late  Dr.  Macrae 
of  Hawick,  cordially  joined;  and  the  African  experi- 
ence of  Dr.  Stewart  of  Lovedale  gave  practical  direc- 
tion to  the  movement.  A  pioneer  expedition  composed 
of  representatives  of  the  different  Churches,  under  the 
command  of  Mr.  E.  D.  Young,  R.N.,  was  despatched 
in  1875,  the  representative  of  the  Church  of  Scotland 
being  Henry  Henderson.  The  story  of  its  experiences 
will  be  found  in  another  chapter. 

Out  of  this  expedition  two  Missions  grew.  At  Cape 
Maclear,  on  the  shore  of  Lake  Nyasa,  is  Zivinffstonia, 
one  of  the  Missions  of  the  Free  Church  of  Scotland,  in 
the  working  of  which  the  United  Presbyterian  Church 
and  the  Reformed  Dutch  Church  of  South  Africa  also 
share.  It  was  founded  in  1876  by  the  Rev.  Dr. 
Stewart  of  Lovedale,  who,  on  returning  to  his  work 
at  Lovedale  in  1877,  placed  it  under  the  charge  of 
Dr.  Robert  Laws,  its  present  head,  and  the  only 
member  of  the  original  pioneering  band  now  remaining 
in  Africa.  Under  his  able  administration,  and  by  the 
indefatigable  efforts  of  him  and  his  colleagues,  it  has 
grown  up,  a  bright  spot  amidst  the  dark  life  along  the 
margin  of  the  lake,  a  centre  of  Christian  civilization, 
where  not  only  the  church  and  the  school,  but  well- 
built  houses,  well-tilled  gardens,  and  a  quiet  and  in- 


dustrious  people,  bear  witness  tliat  the  reign  of  peace 
and  goodwill  has  begun  and  the  kingdom  of  God  has 

This,  however,  has  not  been  achieved  without  struggle 
and  death — struggle,  not  with  the  native  tribes,  but 
with  the  more  deadly  malaria  which  haunts  the  banks 
of  the  river  and  the  fever-swept  shores  of  the  lake. 
How  terrible  that  struggle  has  been  is  graphically 
presented  by  Professor  Drummond,  when  he  thus  de- 
scribes a  visit  he  paid  to  it  five  years  ago  : — 

"  It  was  a  brilliant  summer  morning  when  the  Ilala 
steamed  into  Lake  Nyasa,  and  in  a  few  hours  we  were 
at  anchor  in  the  little  bay  at  Livingston ia.  My  first 
impressions  of  this  famous  mission-station  certainly 
will  never  be  forgotten.  Magnificent  mountains  of 
granite,  green  to  the  summit  with  forest,  encircled  it, 
and  on  the  silver  sand  of  a  still  smaller  bay  stood  the 
small  row  of  trim  white  cottages.  A  neat  path  through 
a  small  garden  led  up  to  the  settlement,  and  I  ap- 
proached the  largest  house  and  entered.  It  was  the 
Livingstonia  Manse — the  head  missionary's  house.  It 
was  spotlessly  clean ;  English  furniture  was  in  the 
room,  a  medicine-chesfc,  familiar-looking  dishes  were 
in  the  cupboards,  books  lying  about,  but  there  was  no 
missionary  in  it.  I  went  to  the  next  house.  It  was 
the  school ;  the  bench  es  were  there  and  the  black- 
board, but  there  were  no  scholars  and  no  teacher.  I 
passed  to  the  next.  It  was  the  blacksmith's  shop  ; 
there  were  the  tools  and  the  anvil,  but  there  was  no 


blacksmith.  And  so  on  to  the  next  and  the  next,  all 
in  perfect  order,  and  all  cnij^ti/.  Then  a  native  ap- 
proached and  led  me  a  few  yards  into  the  forest ;  and 
there,  among  the  mimosa-trees,  under  a  huge  granite 
mountain,  were  four  or  five  graves.  These  were  the 
missionaries'.  I  spent  a  day  or  two  in  the  solemn 
shadow  of  that  deserted  manse.  It  is  one  of  the 
loveliest  spots  in  the  world  ;  and  it  was  hard  to  believe, 
sitting  under  the  tamarind-trees  by  the  quiet  lake- 
shore,  that  the  pestilence  which  walketh  at  midnight 
had  made  this  beautiful  spot  its  home." 

That  was  the  battle-day.  The  losses  were  heavy, 
men's  hearts  were  tried,  but  the  little  band  were  not 
dismayed,  and  this  star  of  Christian  promise  was  not 
quenched.  The  station  was  not  deserted,  but  the 
missionary  centre  had  by  that  time  been  moved  from 
Cape  Maclear  to  Bandawe,  150  miles  northward,  on 
the  same  lake-coast,  but  somewhat  higher  up  the  hill, 
where  the  brave  missionaries  beofan  their  task  again, 
the  old  station  being  worked  by  native  agents  and 
visited  from  time  to  time.  Here  and  at  other  points 
along  the  lake,  though  often  harassed  and  hindered 
by  native  wars  and  political  turmoil,  Dr.  Laws  and 
his  fellow-missionaries  have  by  much  patient  labour 
built  up  a  noble  Mission,  industrial,  medical,  educa- 
tional, and  evangelistic,  and  are  year  by  year  giving 
to  Africa  more  and  more  fully  that  for  which  Living- 
stone hoped  and  prayed. 

Two  or  three  days'  journey  to  the  south  of  Lake 


Nyasa  lies  the  mountainous  district  called  by  Living- 
stone the  Manganja  Highlands,  but  better  known  by 
its  more  recent  name  of  the  Shir^  Highlands.  These 
highlands  lie  to  the  east  of  the  Cataracts  of  the  Shire 
and  extend  for  a  considerable  distance  inland,  the 
ground  rising  in  a  succession  of  terraces.  On  the  third 
of  these  terraces,  on  a  breezy  upland  about  3000  feet 
above  the  level  of  the  sea,  stands  the  other  Mission 
which  grew  out  of  Captain  Young's  pioneering  expedi- 
tion. This  is  JBlantyre,  the  African  Mission  of  the 
Church  of  Scotland.  This  is  the  Mission  to  the  build- 
ing up  of  which  the  three  brave  missionaries  whose 
story  it  is  the  purpose  of  this  little  book  to  tell  gave 
their  lives.  It  may  help,  therefore,  to  a  clearer  appre- 
ciation of  their  work  if  some  slight  description  of  it 
and  its  work  is  given,  but  this  must  be  reserved  to  a 
separate  chapter.  It  may  not,  however,  be  out  of  place 
here  to  quote  regarding  it  also  the  impression  formed 
by  Professor  Drummond  during  his  visit  to  Africa. 
Speaking  of  it  he  says  : — 

"  Towards  sunset  the  following  evening  our  caravan 
filed  into  Blantyre.  On  the  beauty  and  interest  of  this 
ideal  Mission  I  shall  not  dwell.  But  if  any  one  wishes 
to  find  out  what  can  be  done  by  broad  and  practical 
missionary  methods,  let  him  visit  the  Rev.  D.  Clement 
Scott  and  his  friends  at  Blantyre.  ...  I  will  say 
of  the  Livingstonia  missionaries  and  of  the  Blantyre 
missionaries,  and  count  it  an  honour  to  say  it,  that 
they  ai"e  brave,  efficient,  single-hearted  men,  who  need 


our   sympathy   more  than   we   know,  and  are  equally 
above  our  criticism  and  our  praise." 

Since  these  words  were  written  three  of  those  brave, 
single-hearted  men  have  laid  down  their  lives  in  the 
work.  Here  also  the  Church  has  come  in  answer  to 
the  appeal  of  Livingstone's  life,  and  truly  the  print  of 
her  footsteps  has  been  the  graves  of  her  sons. 

Close  by  Blantyre  and  Livingstonia,  and  working 
with  them  in  the  interests  of  Christianity,  though  not 
directly  part  of  the  Church's  missionary  organisation, 
are  two  Scottish  ti'ading  companies,  7'he  African  Lalccs 
Company  and  Buchanan  Brothers.  The  former  is  a 
trading  and  carrying  company,  formed  in  1878  with 
the  distinct  object  of  carrying  out  Livingstone's  idea  of 
opening  up  and  developing  the  regions  of  East  Central 
Africa  from  the  Zambezi  to  Tanganyika,  making  em- 
ployments for  the  natives  and  substituting  for  the 
horrible  trade  by  which  ivory  was  formerly  brought  to 
the  coast  a  legitimate  trade  conducted  in  a  Christian 
spirit,  excluding  rum  and,  so  far  as  possible,  gunpowder, 
and  strengthening  by  all  its  influence  the  hands  of  the 
missionary.  This  company,  whose  representatives  in 
Africa  are  Messrs.  John  and  Fred.  ]\Ioir,  two  young 
Scotchmen,  have  established  stations  at  various  points 
along  the  route,  and  placed  steamers  both  on  the 
Shire  and  on  Lake  Nyasa,  their  principal  station 
being  Mandala  (which  in  the  native  tongue  means 
"•glass"),  a  place  within  a  mile  of  Blantyre,  and  so 
named  by  the  natives  with  a  reference  to  the  spectacles 


of  Mr.  Jolin  Moir  as  the  distinguishing  feature  of  the 
place ! 

The  Messrs.  Buchanan  are  three  brothers  —  also 
Scotchmen — who  have  cojBFee  and  sugar  plantations  at 
Mlungusi,  on  the  slopes  of  Mount  Zomba,  about  forty- 
miles  from  Blantyre,  and  who  have  been  the  chief 
agents  in  developing  the  coffee  industry  in  Africa. 
Besides  giving  work,  with  its  civilising  influences,  to 
a  large  number  of  natives,  this  station  forms  a  centre 
at  which  missionary  work  may  be  carried  on  by  means 
of  regular  Sunday  services  and  a  school  for  the  chil- 
dren. Thus  are  both  these  companies  pouring  their 
influence  into  the  stream  of  new  life  that  is  flowing  in 
for  the  Christianising  of  Africa,  and  are  to  be  num- 
bered among  the  missionary  stars  that  are  already 
brightening  the  African  night.  Two  new  stars,  also, 
have  been  lately  kindled  in  the  north  of  Nyasa- 
land,  which  though  as  yet  faint  will  by  and  by 
brighten  the  glow  of  missionary  light.  Recognising 
their  national  responsibility  to  the  peoples  of  that 
region  now  placed  under  the  German  Empire,  the 
Moravian  Brethren  and  the  Berlin  Evangelical  Society 
of  the  L^itheran  Church  have  each  sent  out  a  little 
band  of  eight  missionaries — the  earnest  of  more  to 
follow — whose  sphere  of  work  is  to  be  in  Gerinan 
East  Africa,  at  the  north  end  of  Lake  Nyasa. 

Still  more  recently  another  Scottish  Presbyterian 
Mission  of  a  singularly  interesting  character  has  been 
sent  out,  promoted  mainly  by  members  of  the  British 


East  African  Company,  altliongh  not  directly  con- 
nected with  the  Company.  On  the  6th  July  1891, 
a  party  of  six  missionaries — including  doctor,  teachers 
and  artisans — set  out  under  the  leadership  of  Dr. 
Stewart  of  Lovedale,  who  has  done  so  much  for 
Africa.  Already  they  have  reached  the  Kibwezi 
Piiver, — a  tributary  of  the  Sabaki — a  place  about  1 50 
miles  inland  from  Mombasa,  and  here  it  is  proposed 
to  establish  a  ]\[ission,  industrial,  educational,  evan- 
gelistic and  medical.  An  interesting  feature  which 
links  this  with  the  early  days  of  African  Missions  is 
the  fact  that  Dr.  Stewart,  its  leader,  was  Livingstone's 
companion  in  travel ;  Sir  William  M'Kinnon,  its  chair- 
man, is  one  wliose  well-known  philanthropic  efforts 
on  behalf  of  Africa  owe  their  inspiration  to  his  regard 
for  Livingstone ;  Mr.  A.  L.  Bruce,  its  Honorary 
Secretary  and  Treasurer,  is  the  son-in-law  of  Living- 
stone; and  Dr.  Robert  U.  Moffat,  its  medical  oflScer, 
is  the  grandson  of  Dr.  Moffat,  the  veteran  African 
missionary.  As  we  write,  tidings  have  just  arrived  of 
the  death  of  one  of  the  members  of  its  staflf — Mr. 
John  Greig,  superintendent  of  its  industrial  depart- 
ment,— so  that  here  also,  as  in  so  many  other  cases,  the 
land  has  been  claimed  by  a  grave. 

Were  we  to  reach  forth  a  little  from  this  heart  of 
Nyasaland  we  should  find  ever  as  we  journeyed  new 
stars  gleaming  through  the  darkness.  North  of  Lake 
Nyasa  a  lofty  plateau,  cool  and  healthy,  extends  for 
250  miles  to  Lake  Tanganyika,  whose  mighty  waters 


stretch  for  450  miles  farther;  and  beyond  that  lies  the 
route  to  the  Victoria  Nyanza  and  the  Albert  Nyanza. 
Were  we  to  climb  to  this  plateau  we  should  not  only 
be  iu  touch  with  all  those  great  lakes,  but  near  us 
would  be  the  watershed  of  the  mighty  Congo.  The 
very  mention  of  these  names  recalls  to  our  thoughts 
memories  of  missionary  enterprises  glimmering  away 
in  the  distance  like  far-off  stars  in  the  murky  night. 

First,  like  a  bright  forelight,  is  the  Mission  planted 
on  Lake  Tanganyika  by  the  London  Missionary  Society — 
the  Society,  it  will  be  remembered,  which  sent  Living- 
stone to  Africa  at  the  first.  Looking  towards  it,  we 
recall  its  story  of  struggle  and  trial  since  the  days 
when,  in  August  1878,  the  leader  of  its  first  expedi- 
tion, the  Rev.  J.  B.  Thomson,  after  sixteen  weary 
months  of  travelling,  reached  Ujiji,  to  spend  only 
one  short  month  in  the  field  of  his  choice  ere  he  was 
laid  in  his  African  grave ;  to  be  followed  only  too 
soon  (the  next  year)  by  the  Rev.  A.  W.  Dodgshun, 
who  also  died  at  Ujiji  seven  days  after  his  arrival ; 
and  Dr.  Mullens,  the  devoted  secretary  of  the  Society, 
who  died  while  yet  only  on  his  way  thither.  Since 
that  time  its  chief  centre  has  been  removed  to  Kavala, 
on  the  other  shore  of  Lake  Tanganyika,  where,  with 
the  aid  of  their  missionary  steamer  on  the  lake,  these 
direct  followers  of  Livingstone  are,  with  life  and  labour, 
following  up  his  work. 

Beyond  that  is  the  field  occupied  by  the  Church 
Missionary  Society^  lyiiig  towards  the  Victoria  Nyanza, 


briprht  with  the  names  and  work  of  such  men  as 
liishops  Hannington  and  Parker,  Dr.  John  Smith, 
and  Mackay  of  Uganda,  and  many  anotlier  faithful 
witness  and  martyr  who  sealed  his  testimony  with 
his  blood.  Facing  westward,  and  looking  away  far 
beyond  what  eye  can  reach  along  the  line  of  the 
Congo,  our  eyes  are  towards  a  region  where  missionary 
enthusiasm  has  multiplied  martyrs  with  a  determina- 
tion and  devotion  that  to  some  have  seemed  almost 
reckless.  Thus  does  a  chain  of  graves  stretch  over  the 
land,  all  brightened  with  the  glow  of  consecrated  lives 
and  martyr  deaths,  and  telling  at  what  a  cost  the 
Church  of  Christ  has  gone  forth  to  the  redemption  of 
Africa,  answering  the  appeal  which  she  heard  from  the 
lips  of  the  dead  Livingstone. 

And  although  we  do  not  attempt  to  trace  the  poli- 
tical developments  through  which  it  has  been  brought 
about,  we  cannot  but  remember,  and  thank  God  at 
the  remembrance,  that  after  sixteen  years'  delay — years 
wherein  the  missionary  and  the  Christian  trader  have 
been  preparing  the  way  for  it — Nyasaland  has  become 
British  Central  Africa,  and  now  from  the  Zambezi  to 
Tanganyika  the  flag  of  Britain  waves  over  the  land  in 
the  midst  of  which  the  heart  of  Livingstone  is  buried, 
so  that  in  this  also  the  day  which  he  longed  to  see  has 





Blantyke  is  the  first  white  settlement  which  the 
traveller  meets  in  East  Central  Africa.  It  is  the  one 
star  which  the  Church  of  Scotland  has  kindled  in  the 
firmament  of  African  Missions  in  memory  of  Living- 
stone, and  it  was  so  named  after  the  far-away  Lanark- 
shire village  in  which  he  was  born.  It  lies  in  the 
heart  of  the  Shire  Highlands,  and  to  reach  it  the 
traveller  enters  Africa  from  the  east  coast,  sailing  up 
the  Zambezi  and  Shire.  By  the  recent  discovery  of  the 
channel  through  the  Chinde  mouth,  the  Zambezi  has  be- 
come an  open  highway  from  the  ocean,  and  the  tedious 
delays  hitherto  occasioned  by  having  to  land  everything 
and  everybody  at  Quilimane,  sail  up  the  Kwakwa,  and 
then  carry  overland  to  the  Zambezi  will  in  the  near 
future  be  avoided.  After  sailing  up  the  Zambezi  for 
about  a  hundred  miles  the  traveller  comes  upon  a  river 
which  twists  away  northwards  among  the  mountains. 
This  is  the  Shir^  one  of  the  tributaries  of  the  Zambezi ; 
but  being  narrower  and  deeper  in  its  channel,  the  tribu- 
tary is  a  better  stream  for  navigation  than  the  main 
river  itself.     Continuing  his  journey  up  the  Shire  for- 


a  distance  of  some  i6o  miles,  the  traveller  reaches  a 
place  called  Katungas,  so  named  as  having  been  the 
village  of  Katunga,  a  Makololo  chief,  who  had  formerly 
been  one  of  Livingstone's  men,  and  who  died  only  quite 
recently.  This  is  the  landing-place  for  Blantyre,  and 
here  he  must  disembark,  and  leaving  the  river,  strike 
inland,  taking  on  foot  a  journey  of  nearly  thirty  miles 
steadily  uphill  all  the  way,  by  a  hot  winding  road,  pass- 
ing througli  pleasing  highland  scener}',  although  the 
chances  are  that,  with  his  hot  tramp  under  an  African 
sun,  he  is, — especially  daring  the  latter  part  of  his 
journey, — rather  too  tired  fully  to  appreciate  and  enjoy 
the  beauties  of  the  scenery,  and  it  is  with  a  sense  of 
thankfulness  and  relief  that  at  length  he  finds  himself 
in  Blantyre. 

And  now,  reader,  shall  I  try  to  describe  for  you  the 
Blantyre  that  was  or  the  Blantyre  that  is? — for  indeed 
they  are  not  the  same.  It  is  sixteen  years  since  the 
foundations  of  the  Mission  here  were  laid.  Such  a 
period  works  great  changes  on  any  place.  One  thinks, 
for  instance,  of  what  changes  the  last  sixteen  years 
have  wrought  on  one's  own  town  or  district.  But 
by  no  such  comparison  can  you  form  any  idea  of 
the  changes  which  these  same  years  have  wrought  at 
Blantyre.  At  home  the  changes  wrought  have  been 
on  the  face  and  features  of  things;  at  Blantyre  they 
have  changed  the  very  soul  of  the  place — the  habits, 
the  character,  the  life  of  the  people.  I  cannot,  indeed, 
show  you  Blantyre  "  before  it  was  made,"  though  I 


might  jDerhaps  try  to  give  you  some  idea  of  what  they 
saw  who  came  here  sixteen  years  ago  to  seek  a  home 
for  Christianity  among  these  hills.  A  picturesque 
country  it  was  into  which  they  came,  marked  by  hills 
and  valleys,  with  here  and  there  a  rocky  ravine, 
through  which  a  mountain  burn  may  be  heard  gurg- 
ling its  way  to  the  Shir^,  while  away  in  the  distance 
great  dark  mountains,  like  the  Zomba  range  and 
^Mount  Soche  and  Ndirandi,  each  5000  feet  high,  may 
be  seen  clear  on  the  sky-line. 

The  country  is  well  wooded,  there  being  wide  tracts 
of  forest,  though  the  trees  as  a  rule  are  not  large. 
The  hills  are  in  many  instances  clothed  to  the  top  with 
dense  "  bush/'  denser  and  darker  along  the  lines  of  the 
mountain  streams,  as  you  have  seen  the  brushwood 
marking  the  course  of  the  burns  on  the  hillsides  at 
home.  African  villages,  many  and  populous,  are  to  be 
seen — not  bright,  tidy,  home-like  villages  such  as  one 
sees  dotting  the  landscape  from  a  Scottish  hill-top,  but 
clusters  of  rude  mud  huts,  hiding  as  it  were  in  the 
forest,  each  in  terror  of  the  other,  and  all  dreading 
the  slave-raiding  Arab,  whose  visit  is  ever  the  pre- 
cursor of  scenes  of  cruelty  and  blood. 

Life  in  an  African  village  is  a  curious  kind  of  exist- 
ence— a  sort  of  lazy,  indifferent,  amused  contentment. 
The  native  has  few  wants,  and  is  natui^ally  of  an 
indolent,  peaceable  disposition,  having  little  to  compel 
him  to  work.  He  wears  next  to  no  clothes,  and  his 
food  is  of  the  simplest  kind.     Twice  a  day  he  has  a 


big  feed  of  native  porridge,  made  from  a  kind  of  millet- 
seed,  to  cultivate  which  only  a  few  weeks'  work  in  the 
year  is  required.  The  women  pound  it  in  a  big  kind 
of  mortar,  and  do  the  cooking  and  other  work ;  while 
the  men,  though  sometimes  doing  a  little  in  the  way 
of  beating  out  bark-cloth,  weaving  cotton,  or  making 
baskets,  for  the  most  part  lounge  about  talking  and 
smoking.  Were  you  to  enter  a  native  village  you 
would  probably  find  a  man  here  and  there  sitting 
astride  a  log  of  hard  wood  on  the  village  green,  tap, 
tap,  tapping  away  with  his  hammer,  making  his  cloth 
from  the  Njombo  bark,  and  perhaps  a  basketmaker 
at  work  at  the  door  of  his  hut ;  but  you  would  most 
likely  find  the  chief  or  headman  stretched  on  the  grass 
under  the  great  council-tree  of  the  village,  with  most 
of  the  men  gathered  round  him,  all  smoking  their 
bhang  pipes  and  talking  and  joking  away,  while  a 
huge  pot  of  pomh^,  standing  within  convenient  reach, 
is  appealed  to  from  time  to  time  as  the  palaver 

Periodically  this  easy-going  life  is  rudely  broken  in 
upon  by  a  tribal  war  and  the  unexpected  attack  of  a 
hostile  tribe,  or  by  the  incursion  of  the  Arab  slaver, 
when  a  fierce  excitement  takes  possession  of  all  and 
the  air  of  indolent  ease  gives  place  to  a  scene  of  the 
wildest  confusion. 

At  the  time  when  the  pioneers  of  the  Blantyre 
Mission  appeared  there  were  two  distinct  tribes  of 
people  in  the  district — the  ^Manganja  and  the  Wayao — 


speaking  different  languages,  often  at  war  witli  one 
another  and  among  themselves.  When  Livingstone's 
Expedition  to  the  Zambezi  was  recalled  in  1863,  the 
Makololo  who  had  accompanied  him  as  porters  and 
carriers  settled  down  on  the  Shire,  and  soon  by  force 
of  their  determined  character  assumed  the  chieftain- 
ship over  the  Manganja,  who  were  at  the  time  in 
danger  of  being  destroyed  by  the  Wayao  and  the 
slavers.  The  Manganja  rallied  round  their  new  chiefs, 
and  by-and-by  the  Makololo  became  a  power  in  the 
country  along  the  river. 

It  was  to  this  tribe  that  Ramukukan,  Katunga, 
Mulilema,  and  other  chiefs,  whose  names  are  now 
familiar  in  connection  with  places  in  the  country,  be- 
longed, while  among  the  Wayao,  chiefs  like  Kapeni 
and  Malunga  were  able  to  hold  their  own.  Besides 
these  two  tribes,  however,  another  people,  wild  and 
war-like,  dwelt  in  the  hill-country  away  to  the  north- 
west beyond  the  Shir^.  These  were  the  Angoni,  and 
from  time  to  time  they  came  down  in  fierce  raids  and 
swept  across  both  the  Yao  and  the  JManganja,  who 
lived  in  terror  of  them  and  fled  from  their  villages  at 
the  rumour  of  their  approach.  Many  a  bloody  war 
and  blackened  stretch  of  country  testified  to  the  fierce 
character  of  these  Angoni  chiefs  and  their  warriors 
when  on  the  war-path. 

This,  then,  was  the  country  and  such  were  the 
people  to  whom  the  Scottish  missionaries  came  in 
1875.     This  is  Blantyre  as  it  was  before  it  was  Blan- 


tyre !  I  shall  not  attempt  to  describe  for  you  in  detail 
the  work  which  the  missionaries  did  in  those  early 
days — how,  when  sick  and  weary  with  their  journey 
up  the  river,  they  began  to  clear  and  level  a  site  for  a 
mission-station,  and  to  erect  dwellings  for  themselves, 
houses  of  bamboos  and  grass  and  mud,  which  they 
were  to  try  in  future  to  call  by  the  name  of  home ! — 
how  they  overcame  the  prejudices  and  secured  the 
confidence  of  the  natives,  and  induced  them  by  the 
offer  of  yards  of  calico  as  payment  to  come  and  join 
them  in  learning  to  work  and  to  continue  at  work. 
This  they  did  with  such  success  that  it  was  not  long 
till  every  Monday  morning  saw  a  crowd  of  both  men 
and  women  waiting  eager  to  be  hired  for  work  in  lay- 
ing out  the  station,  making  roads,  building  houses 
preparing  the  garden,  hoeing  the  fields.  A  series  of 
terraces  was  made.  Water  was  brought  a  distance  of 
two  miles,  and  irrigation  made  easy — an  invaluable 
element  in  the  development  of  Blantyre.  In  conjunc- 
tion with  the  Livingstonia  Mission,  a  road  was  surveyed 
and  made  from  the  station  southwards  to  Ramukukan's, 
at  the  foot  of  the  cataracts  on  the  river,  a  distance 
of  some  thirty  miles,  and  another  of  greater  length 
northward  to  the  Upper  Shire. 

I  cannot  wait  to  speak  as  I  should  like  of  the  first 
experiments  in  gardening  and  agriculture,  the  sowing 
of  various  seeds,  and  the  patient  waiting  to  see  whether 
anything  would  grow,  and  if  so,  what.  Very  interest- 
ing, too,  is  the  story  of  four  little  slips  which  Mr. 


Duncan,  the  gardener,  took  out  with  him  from  the 
Botanic  Gardens  in  Edinburgh — one  tea  and  three 
coffee  plants.  If  these  would  grow,  how  much  it 
might  mean  for  the  new  country !  Carefully  they  were 
tended,  and  anxiously  watched  and  watered ;  and  we 
can  understand  with  what  feelings  those  who  watched 
them  saw  first  one,  then  another,  then  another  of  them 
die.  Only  one  little  tiny  struggling  slip  was  left,  and 
it  looked  as  if  it  were  to  die  too ;  but  it  didn't — it 
lived ;  and  that  one  little  slip  has  grown  into  the  coffee 
plantations,  not  only  of  the  Mission  at  Blantyre,  but  of 
Buchanan  Brothers  at  Zomba,  of  the  African  Lakes  Com- 
pany at  Mandala,  and  of  Messrs.  Sharrer,  Duncan,  and 
others,  till  in  this  year  (i  891)  we  learn  that  the  Messrs. 
Buchanan  have  in  their  plantations  alone  1,000,000 
coffee-plants,  and  that  the  highest  price  quoted  in  the 
London  market  for  the  season  has  been  for  this  very 
Shire  Highland  coffee !  That  little  tiny  slip,  so  feeble- 
looking,  and  once  so  nearly  dead,  yet  so  marvellously 
fruitful,  is  a  fit  emblem  of  the  Mission  itself. 

I  cannot  wait,  either,  to  speak  of  the  ]}ersonnel  of 
the  Mission — of  the  brave  men  and  women  by  whose 
life  and  labour  it  has  been  built  up.  Henry  Henderson, 
as  has  been  said,  was  its  pioneer  and  guide.  In  its 
earliest  days  the  Free  Church  missionaries  at  Living- 
stonia  lent  it  valuable  aid.  Dr.  Stewart  visitino-  it 
in  1877,  and  during  a  stay  of  three  months  helping 
to  organise  the  work ;  while  his  relative,  Mr.  James 
Stewart,   O.E.,   who    accompanied    him,   directed    the 


laying  out  of  the  place  and  the  making  of  the  road. 
The  Kev.  Duff  Macdonald,  B.D.,  its  first  ordained 
missionary,  went  out  in  1878,  Mrs.  Macdonald  being 
the  first  white  woman  the  natives  had  ever  seen.  Dr. 
T.  T.  ^Macklin  was  its  first  medical  missionary.  Mr. 
Buchanan,  now  of  Zomba,  and  Mr.  Jonathan  Duncan, 
the  gardeners,  began  the  work  of  cultivation  in  garden 
and  field. 

Around  these  and  their  companions  the  natives 
gathered,  settling  in  villages  on  the  Mission  ground. 
At  the  close  of  each  day  all  the  workers,  summoned 
by  a  bugle-call,  gathered  together  to  listen  to  a  Gospel 
address — "a  talk  about  God."  A  school  was  begun 
for  the  boys,  conducted  in  a  little  grass- roofed  build- 
ing, where  also  every  Sunday  the  little  community 
gathered  together  for  Christian  worship. 

So  the  work  grew  and  extended,  additional  mis- 
sionaries coming  out  from  time  to  time  to  strengthen 
the  staff.  The  Mission,  however,  was  not  without  its 
dark  days,  times  of  trouble  and  anxiety,  when  it 
seemed  as  if  it  might  even  be  necessary  to  retire 
altogether  from  the  field  so  hopefully  occupied.  In 
1879-80  it  was  shaken  to  its  very  foundations  by 
troubles  arising  out  of  a  policy  which  acted  on  Living- 
stone's idea  of  regarding  the  Mission  as  u  Culony  as 
well  as  a  Church,  and  the  exercise  of  a  jurisdiction 
based  upon  that  idea.  Very  sad  and  trying  were  the 
experiences  of  that  time,  but  there  is  no  need  to 
recount    them    here.      The    storm    passed,   the   night 


wore  away,  and  the  work  was  not  destroyed.  On 
tbe  contrary,  the  Church  at  home  addressed  herself 
anew  to  it  in  a  spirit  of  chastened  earnestness,  and  it 
seemed  as  if  the  sun  of  a  new  morning  shone  out 
when  in  the  summer  of  188 1  the  Rev.  David  Clement 
Scott,  B.D.,  and  his  brave  young  wife,  accompanied  by 
a  medical  missionary,  went  forth  to  gather  together 
the  shaken  elements  of  the  Mission,  and  proceed  with 
the  task  of  founding  and  building  up  in  the  territory 
of  a  native  chief  a  Christian  Church,  not  a  British 
colony.  How  nobly  they  have  discharged  the  trust 
committed  to  them  no  words  of  mine  can  fully  tell. 

In  1884  the  sky  darkened  again  over  the  Mis- 
sion. Three  times  in  succession  during  that  year  not 
only  the  interests  of  the  Mission  but  also  the  lives  of 
the  missionaries  were  seriously  endangered,  first,  by 
disturbances  consequent  on  the  murder  of  Chipetula,  a 
Makololo  chief,  then  through  a  revolt  of  the  Machin- 
jiri  against  the  Portuguese,  and  lastly  by  a  fierce  raid 
of  the  warlike  Angoni  on  the  Yaos  and  Chipetas  in 
the  neighbourhood  of  Blantyre.  During  this  last,  the 
calm  courage  of  Mr.  Scott  and  his  wife,  who,  accom- 
panied by  Dr.  Peden,  undertook  a  journey  of  three 
hundred  miles  to  brave  the  fierce  Angoni  chief  in  his 
own  land  and  in  the  midst  of  his  armed  warriors,  so 
impressed  the  chief  that  the  attack  was  averted  and 
the  raid  of  4000  Angoni  warriors  sweeping  across  the 
Shire  Highlands  was  turned  aside  from  the  villages 
around  Blantyre.     Since  then  the  endurance,  the  re- 


sources,  and  the  tact  of  the  missionaries  have  been 
tried  again  and  again  by  the  political  complications, 
the  Arab  wars,  and  the  Portuguese  difficulties  which 
have  so  largely  made  up  the  history  of  these  recent 
years.  Often  they  have  been  for  months  cut  off  from 
all  communication  with  the  coast  and  with  home.  At 
times  the  difficulties  of  the  situation  have  been  very 
great  and  the  strain  of  suspense  and  anxiety  very 
heavy.  Sorrow,  too,  and  death  have  crossed  their 
path,  but  they  have  never  lost  heart;  their  faith  in  God 
has  never  failed,  their  love  for  Africa  has  never  grown 
cold,  and  the  work  of  the  Mission  has  never  stood  still. 
Through  storm  and  sunshine  its  growth  has  steadily 
continued.  Already  new  stations  are  beginning  to 
grow  up  around  it.  At  Domasi,  away  beyond  Mount 
Zomba,  near  Lake  Shirwa,  fifty-five  miles  from  the 
parent  Mission,  a  new  station  was  started  some  years 
ago  under  the  charge  of  the  Rev.  Alexander  Hether- 
wick,  M.A.,  F.E.G.S.  It  is  situated  in  the  midst 
of  the  Yao  tribe,  and  in  both  its  methods  and  spirit 
is  a  true  child  of  Blantyre.  It  has  church  and  school, 
as  well  as  hoeing,  planting,  building,  &c.,  with  which 
to  train  and  help  the  natives.  At  Chirazulo,  too,  as 
will  be  found  in  the  story  of  Robert  Cleland,  a  new 
post  has  been  occupied  and  a  new  centre  of  Christian 
life  planted;  while  at  Mount  Milanji,  also,  the  field 
has  been  surveyed  and  the  land  claimed  by  the  sacri- 
fice of  a  life.  I  wish,  reader,  I  could  close  this  chapter 
by  taking  you  to  have  one  look  at  Blantyre  as  it  is 


to-day,  through  the  patient  endurance  and  the  much 
Christian  labour  of  these  sixteen  years. 

Blantyre  stands  to-day  where  it  did  on  the  lofty 
plateau,  but  you  would  hardly  recognise  the  old  place. 
There  now  passes  through  it  the  well-made  road  from 
Katungas,  on  the  river  below  the  cataracts,  to  Matope 
on  the  Upper  Shire — the  route  along  which  all  who  are 
bound  for  the  great  Central  Lakes  must  pass.  It  thus 
occupies  an  important  position  on  the  direct  highway 
into  Central  Africa,  and  every  traveller  going  thither 
passes  through  it.  Approaching  it  now,  we  pass  along 
an  avenue,  nearly  a  mile  in  length,  of  tall  beautiful 
Eucalyptus  trees  (blue  gums)  planted  in  1879,  and 
already  many  of  them  sixty  feet  high,  with  a  clean,  well- 
kept  road  between  them.  Passing  through  these  we  find 
ourselves  in  a  large  open  square,  in  the  centre  of  which 
stands  a  handsome  church,  just  completed,  and  which 
by  its  beauty  at  once  arrests  the  attention  of  the 
traveller  and  strikes  him  with  astonishment.  We  pass 
on  in  the  meantime,  however,  for  we  must  return  and 
take  a  leisurely  view  of  it.  On  one  side  of  the  square, 
on  a  terraced  slope,  lies  a  garden  planted  with  fruit- 
trees  and  vegetables,  and  bright  with  flowers  both 
European  and  indigenous.  Grouped  around  the  square 
on  its  other  sides  are  the  school,  the  Manse, — with  its 
thatched  roof  and  wide  verandahs, — the  houses  of  the 
doctor  and  the  other  missionaries,  the  joiner's  work- 
shop, the  smithy,  the  zinc-roofed  store,  &c.  The  square 
itself  is  tidy  and  trim-looking,  ornamental  trees  here 


and  there,  while  the  IManse  garden  is  bright  with 
geraniums,  roses,  dahlias,  and  other  English  flowers, 
as  well  as  tall  shrubs  and  gay  flowering  creepers.  As 
we  pass  along,  we  hear  the  ring  of  the  hammer  on  the 
anvil  and  the  sound  of  the  carpenter's  saw  and  plane, 
and  we  learn  that  it  is  the  brown  Manganja  hand  that 
is  wielding  these.  We  see  numbers  of  native  men  and 
women,  clean  and  tidy-looking  in  their  white  calicoes, 
busy  at  work  in  the  garden,  or  "  hoeing  "  in  the  fields 
belonging  to  the  Mission  farm  behind  the  houses.  As 
we  pass  through  the  square  we  may  take  a  look  into 
the  school.  Here  we  find  over  two  hundred  boys  and 
girls,  some  of  them  day-scholars,  and  others  boarders 
who  have  been  sent  by  their  parents  from  villages  at 
a  distance,  many  of  them  being  sons  of  chiefs.  When 
one  thinks  that  by-and-by  these  will  be  chiefs  them- 
selves, one  feels  how  important  is  the  work  of  the  Chris- 
tian schoolmaster  here.  It  reminds  one  of  Luther's 
schoolmaster  lifting  his  hat  to  his  boys  for  what  they 
might  one  day  be.  We  find  the  classes  going  on 
just  as  we  see  them  do  in  a  school  at  home.  The  chil- 
dren are  smart  and  learn  easily.  They  are  taught  not 
only  to  read  and  write,  both  in  their  own  language  and 
in  English,  but  also  grammar,  history,  arithmetic,  &c., 
and  we  can  see  for  ourselves,  as  we  look  at  their  copy- 
books, writing  and  figures  that  few  children  in  our 
Scottish  schools  could  beat.  There  are  altogether, 
besides  the  European  missionaries,  some  twenty  native 
teachers;    and  as  one  looks  at  their  brown  faces  and 


dark,  black  eyes  one's  tkoughts  go  back  to  the  time, 
only  sixteen  years  ago,  when  these  young  men  and 
women  were  playing  around  the  mud-huts  of  an 
African  village,  before  Blantyre  was  there.  What 
a  change ! 

Suddenly  a  bugle-note  rings  out.  It  is  half-past 
one ;  and  immediately  we  see,  from  garden  and  field 
and  workshop  and  school,  men,  women,  and  children 
gather  together.  It  is  the  hour  for  the  daily  midday 
service,  which  all  the  workers  on  the  station  attend. 
It  is  a  simple  native  service,  a  hymn,  a  short  address, 
and  prayer,  taken  by  the  members  of  the  Mission  and 
by  the  native  teachers  in  turn.  The  hours  of  work 
are  6  to  11  a.m.  and  2  to  5  p.m.,  and  all  who  come  to 
work  assemble  daily  for  this  service  before  going  out 
to  the  work  of  the  afternoon.  In  this  way  the  gospel  is 
preached  to  every  one  who  comes  to  work  in  the  service 
of  the  Mission,  and  some  of  these  workers  come  from 
places  from  five  to  a  hundred  miles  distant,  some 
coming  even  from  Angoniland.  The  other  regular 
services  in  the  Mission  are,  daily  native  service  in  the 
morning,  and  an  English  service  every  evening,  besides 
the  four  services  on  Sunday. 

We  cannot  wait  now  to  follow  these  workers  as  they 
disperse  to  their  different  departments  of  work,  though 
each  of  these  would  furnish  much  that  would  interest. 
Nor  can  we  go  to  the  Manse  to  see  the  class  for  sew- 
ing, &c.,  which  at  this  hour  Mrs.  Scott  will  be  con- 
ducting in  the  verandah ;  nor  to  the  laundry  to  see 


how  beautifully  these  African  women  and  girls  have 
learned  to  do  such  work  as  is  done  there. 

But  we  must  not  turn  away  without  pausing  to  let 
our  thoughts  rest,  if  only  for  an  instant,  on  the  hand- 
some church,  so  striking  in  appearance,  and  which 
means  so  much.  Standing  there  in  the  midst  of  the 
square,  it  is  not  only,  in  its  elegance  and  beauty,  the 
most  striking  feature  in  Blantyre,  but  it  is  a  signal 
token  of  the  progress  of  the  Mission.  I  shall  not 
attempt  to  describe  it,  with  its  pillars  and  arches  and 
towers  and  dome,  so  harmonious  in  proportions  and 
so  ornate  in  design.  The  accompanying  illustration 
will  perhaps  serve  better  to  give  some  idea  of  it. 
The  niustratcd  London  News,  in  which  a  picture  of  it 
appeared  in  August  last,  spoke  of  it  as  "  an  edifice 
which  would  be  creditable  to  any  town  or  city  in 
Great  Britain,  and  which  is  said,  truly  for  aught  we 
know,  to  be  the  handsomest  church  in  Africa,  includ- 
ing such  cities  as  Cape  Town,  Port  Elizabeth,  and 
Durban."  But  to  me  it  seems  that  far  better  than 
the  beauty  of  the  building  is  the  testimony  it  bears 
to  the  marvellous  work  which,  by  the  grace  of  God, 
the  missionaries  at  Blantyre  have  been  able  to  do  in 
Central  Africa.  We  have  just  been  telling  how,  when 
they  came  to  these  Shire  Hills,  they  found  Yao  and 
Manganja  at  war  with  one  another,  while  the  fierce 
Angoni  were  the  terror  of  both.  Now  here  is  a  church 
constructed  entirely  by  native  labour.  Mr.  Scott  was 
his   own   architect,    and    with    the   assistance  of  Mr. 



M'llwain,  artisan  missionary,  and  his  neighbour,  Mr. 
Buchanan  of  Zomba,  the  master-builder  as  well ;  but  the 
native  Africans  did  the  work,  making  their  own  bricks, 
burning  their  own  lime,  hewing  their  own  timber, 
and,  in  short,  building  their  own  church,  the  building 
materials,  which  are  of  the  best  quality,  being  obtained 
wholly  from  the  district,  except  the  glass  and  some 
internal  fittings.  Nor  is  this  all.  It  occupied  three 
years  in  building,  and  during  that  time  Yao  and 
Manganja  and  Angoni  have  been  living  and  working 
and  worshipping  together.  Together,  in  more  senses 
than  one,  they  have  been  building  the  Church  of  God. 
In  the  words  of  The  Mission  Record,  "  The  brickmakers 
and  bricklayers,  the  pointers  and  the  carpenters,  were 
Yao  and  Manganja  men  trained  in  the  Mission.  The 
hewers  of  wood  and  drawers  of  water  were  the  Angoni. 
They  laid  aside  their  spears  and  shields  for  the  hoe  and 
the  pick.  Instead  of  plundering  the  native  granaries, 
they  carried  the  bricks  and  the  mortar;  instead  of 
spreading  the  desolation  of  war  and  carrying  off  the 
captives  to  slavery,  they  helped  to  build  the  temple  of 
the  God  of  peace,  where  the  slave  may  hear  the  glorious 
gospel  of  freedom  in  Christ  Jesus."  Truly  it  is  the 
doing  of  the  Lord  and  wondrous  in  our  eyes. 

What  a  delight  it  would  be  if  one  could  go  to 
spend  a  Sunday  in  Blantyre !  How  it  would  bring 
one  into  touch  with  the  work  of  God  if  one  could  see 
the  native  congregation  assemble  for  morning  service 
in  that  beautiful  church   at   8.30,  then  join   in   the 


worship  of  the  English  congregation  at  eleven,  visit 
the  Suncla3'-school  in  the  Manse  at  three,  or  accom- 
pany the  evangelists,  who  at  that  hour  go  out  into 
the  villages  round  about  preaching  the  Gospel  of  the 
Kingdom,  and  then  close  the  day  in  the  quiet  worship 
of  the  evening  service  at  half-past  six.  What  a  busy, 
worshipful,  Christ-like  life  is  theirs ! 

But  what  must  it  have  been  to  be  present  at  the 
service  of  Holy  Communion  on  the  first  Sunday  in 
the  new  church,  to  feel  the  touch  of  the  impressive 
stillness  and  taste  the  joy  of  its  worship,  and  join  the 
company  that  sat  down  together  at  the  Holy  Table — 
not  only  the  missionary  and  the  traveller  and  the 
explorer  and  the  trader,  but — most  blessed  of  all — ■ 
thirty  of  these  native  Africans,  humble  Christian  com- 
municants in  the  Church  of  God,  sitting  down  together 
with  those  who  came  bringing  them  the  glad  tidings 
in  the  fellowship  of  the  one  faith  and  the  one  Lord  and 
Redeemer !  Ay  !  and  more  also.  It  was  for  this  that 
Henry  Henderson,  John  Bowie,  and  Eobert  Cleland 
had  laboured  and  died.  Blessed  dead !  They  rest 
from  their  labours  and  their  works  do  follow  them. 
Surely  they  too,  in  their  glorified  rest,  had  a  share  in 
the  joy  of  that  day  of  reaping,  when  the  fruits  of  their 
toil  were  seen.  Blessed  be  God  for  the  communion  of 
saints  in  heaven  and  on  earth ! 


^cnrg  Pfmtierscn, 





Henry  Henderson  was  a  son  of  the  Manse,  his  father 
being  the  late  Rev.  Dr.  Henderson  of  Kinclaven,  in 
Perthshire,  where  he  was  born  in  1843.  "^^^  old 
church  and  Manse  stand  in  a  charming  rural  spot 
close  by  the  Tay,  without  even  a  village  near,  so  that 
his  earliest  impressions  of  God's  great  world  were 
gathered  from  a  beautiful  picture  of  j&eld  and  wood 
and  river,  with  the  blue  hills  behind, — the  stillness 
unbroken  by  the  roar  of  the  city,  and  God's  clear  sky 
undimmed  by  any  cloud  of  earthly  smoke.  It  was  no 
wonder  that  all  his  life  he  loved  to  be  where  Nature's 
book  was  open  to  him,  and  that  he  could  never  feel  at 
home  among  the  restraints  of  city  life. 

He  received  the  godly  and  hardy  upbringing  which 
so  often  has  made  the  sons  of  the  Manse  the  men  they 
are.  His  father,  who  was  somewhat  of  the  sterner 
type  of  the  old  school,  taught  his  sons  himself  till 
they  were  fourteen,  and  then  sent  them  off  to  school 
and  college;  but  to  Henry,  who  was  the  youngest, 
there  was  perhaps  less  of  stern  severity  shown  than 
to  the  others.     Being  without  companions  of  his  own 


age,  he  was  much  with  his  father,  to  whom  he  became 
useful  in  many  respects.  As  a  boy  he  was  thoughtful 
and  sagacious,  and  rather  quaint  in  his  ways,  often 
causing  amusement  to  the  other  members  of  the  family. 
All  his  life  he  was  most  conscientious  and  rigidly 
honest,  never  pretending  to  be  better  than  he  really 
was.  He  was  not  over-fond  of  prolonged  study,  and 
was  always  ready  to  take  part  in  outdoor  occupations, 
caring  little  what  remarks  might  be  made  about  him 
provided  what  he  was  doing  were  necessary  or  useful. 
Much  amusement  was  caused  one  winter,  when,  the 
office  of  beadle  having  become  vacant — rather  a  de- 
spised office  in  those  days — Harry,  then  a  boy  of 
thirteen,  offered  to  ring  the  church  bell  and  carry  up 
the  Bible  to  the  pulpit,  only  stipulating  that  he  should 
carry  up  the  Bible  before  the  people  came  into  church. 
His  offer  was  accepted,  and  for  a  whole  winter  he  dis- 
charged the  duty  quite  readily.  About  the  same  time 
one  of  the  parish  "  bodies  "  said  to  him  she  supposed 
he  would  be  going  to  be  a  minister,  but  his  reply  was 
prompt  and  characteristic.  "  No,"  he  said,  "  I  am  not. 
I  can't  take  care  of  my  own  soul,  and  how  could  I  take 
care  of  the  souls  of  other  people  ?  "  The  same  tone  of 
mind  and  feeling  continued  when  the  time  came  for 
him  to  decide  on  his  future  career.  He  could  not 
be  induced  to  enter  the  ministry,  doubting  his  own 
motives  and  dreading  a  responsibility  so  great.  At 
the  age  of  sixteen  he  went  to  the  University  of  Edin- 
burgh, where   he  passed  through  a   full  Arts   course 


in  a  manner  which  gave  promise  of  useful  work  in  any 
profession  which  he  might  have  adopted.  But  he  did 
not  feel  that  any  of  the  professions  offered  the  sphere 
of  service  for  which  he  was  fitted.  His  inborn  love  of 
travel  and  adventure  led  him  to  look  abroad,  and  ac- 
cordingly at  the  age  of  twenty,  furnished  with  a  few 
letters  of  introduction,  he  set  forth  to  seek  his  for- 
tune in  Queensland.  He  was  fortunate  in  getting  good 
situations,  and  for  twelve  years  he  remained  in  the  bush, 
seeing  a  great  deal  of  bush-life.  If  he  had  chosen  he 
might  have  established  his  fortunes  there,  for  his  char- 
acter and  powers  were  such  that  he  was  soon  trusted, 
and  offers  were  made  to  him  which  most  men  would  have 
accepted,  and  which,  in  the  prosperous  days  twenty 
years  ago,  would  certainly  have  led  him  to  wealth.  At 
one  time  there  joined  him  two  young  men  from  home, 
both  gentlemen's  sons,  and  perhaps  it  was  in  observing 
them  that  he  was  able  clearly  to  study  himself.  Any- 
how, he  soon  came  to  feel  that  all  of  them  were  out  of 
their  proper  sphere.  It  was  not  long  till  one  of  them 
returned  home,  and  after  a  course  of  study  became  a 
clergyman  of  the  Church  of  England.  The  other  also 
came  home,  and  soon  after  died ;  while  Henderson, 
having  grown  year  by  year  more  dissatisfied  with  the 
selfishness  and  self-seeking  of  a  colonist's  life  of  that 
time,  felt  within  him  a  growing  desire  for  a  life  in 
which  he  would  have  greater  opportunities  of  useful- 
ness and  of  benefiting  his  fellow-creatures — for  some 
form  of  service,  if  possible,  in  which  he  might  help  the 


spread  of  Christianity.  In  the  hope  of  finding  some 
such  sphere  he  returned  home.  He  again  enrolled 
himself  as  a  student  in  one  or  two  of  the  classes 
in  Edinburgh  University,  thinking  it  might  possibly 
prove  useful  to  him  in  some  way.  Here  again,  like 
an  attractive  vision,  the  idea  of  the  ministry  presented 
itself  to  him,  but  again  harassed  with  doubts  as  to 
his  fitness  for  it,  he  abandoned  the  idea.  More  than  a 
year  he  had  passed  thus,  hoping  and  waiting  for  some 
path  of  usefulness  to  open  up  to  him,  when  one  day 
in  the  Advocates'  Library  he  happened  to  turn  over 
the  pages  of  the  Missionary  Record,  and  read  of  a 
proposal  to  organise  a  Mission  to  Central  Africa  as 
the  Church  of  Scotland's  memorial  to  Dr.  Livingstone, 
and  of  the  desire  to  find  some  one  who  would  go  as 
a  pioneer  to  prepare  the  way  for  it.  Like  a  flash  of 
inspiration,  or  a  voice  from  God,  came  the  thought 
that  here  was  the  opportunity  he  had  been  waiting  for. 
He  could  not  be  a  minister,  but  he  could  be  a  pioneer 
missionary.  He  had  learned  what  it  was  to  "rough 
it"  in  the  Australian  bush.  He  could  wander  over 
lonely  hills;  he  could  sleep  under  the  stars;  he  could 
endure  hunger  and  fatigue,  and  could  turn  his  hand 
to  anything  that  needed  to  be  done.  Here  was  a 
chance  of  serving  his  Church,  serving  his  fellow-men, 
serving  Christ.  He  would  go  to  Africa  to  open  the 
way  for  others,  and  as  a  missionary  live  a  Christian 
life  among  the  heathen.  God's  pillar  of  cloud  before 
him  was  moving  forward,  and  he  would  follow  it ;  so 


he  offered  himself  to  the  Committee  of  this  African 
Mission,  of  which  the  late  Dr.  Macrae,  Hawick,  was 
convener,  and  his  services  were  gladly  accepted.  The 
Foreign  Mission  Committee  of  the  Free  Church,  largely 
inspired  by  the  enthusiasm  of  the  Eev.  James  Stewart 
(now  Dr.  Stewart  of  Lovedale),  was  organising  an 
advance  party  to  visit  the  shores  of  Lake  Nyasa  and 
select  a  site  where  a  Mission  party,  to  go  out  the 
following  year,  might  take  up  their  headquarters.  No 
sooner  had  this  been  determined  on  than  the  Eeformed 
Presbyterian  Church,  the  Church  of  Scotland,  and 
the  United  Presbyterian  Church  all  requested  to  be 
allowed  to  have  a  share  in  the  movement ;  and  surely  it 
was  a  token  for  good  that  the  Scottish  Churches  could 
thus  unite  for  such  a  work.  The  United  Presbyterian 
Church,  though  precluded  by  other  responsibilities 
from  undertaking  missionary  work  in  Central  Africa, 
generously  placed  at  the  disposal  of  the  Free  Church 
Committee,  for  a  time  at  least,  the  services  of  the  Rev. 
Dr.  Robert  Laws,  a  medical  missionary,  who  had  been 
intended  for  service  in  another  field ;  and  the  Church 
of  Scotland,  already  preparing  to  plant  a  Mission  in 
the  neighbourhood  of  Lake  Nyasa,  requested  that  their 
pioneer  missionary  might  be  allowed  to  accompany 
the  expedition  and  receive  from  it  such  assistance  as 
it  might  be  in  the  power  of  its  members  to  render. 
That  pioneer  was  Henry  Henderson.  Few  men  could 
have  been  found  better  fitted  for  such  a  work.  It  was 
just  the  kind  of  work  in.  which  he  had  spent  the  last 


twelve  years  in  the  Australian  bush.  And  yet  he 
often  spoke  of  it  as  a  strange  reversal  of  the  kind  of 
life  he  had  at  first  planned  out  for  himself.  He  had 
always  shrunk  from  the  idea  of  having  to  deal  with 
uncivilised  races.  It  was  for  that  reason  he  had  gone 
to  Queensland,  where  there  was  least  chance  of  con- 
tact with  aboriginal  tribes.  Now  he  found  himself 
despatched  to  a  land  where  he  would  be  plunged  alone, 
perhaps  for  years,  into  the  heart  of  the  life  which  he 
felt  would  try  him  more  than  any  other.  How  often 
do  we  find  that  that  from  which  a  man  naturally 
shrinks  turns  out  to  be  the  calling  whereunto  God 
has  called  him ! 

The  expedition,  which  was  placed  under  the  com- 
mand of  Mr.  E.  D.  Young,  R,N.,  included,  besides  Dr. 
Laws  and  Mr.  Henderson,  a  carpenter,  two  engineers, 
an  agriculturist,  and  a  seaman  of  the  royal  navy,  eight 
good  men  and  true,  who  bravely  discharged  the  com- 
mission entrusted  to  them.  They  sailed  from  London 
on  the  20tli  May  1875,  and  on  the  23rd  July  they 
cast  auchor  in  the  Kongone  mouth  of  the  Zambezi. 
The  first  duty  enjoined  on  them  was  to  launch  on 
Lake  Nyasa  a  steamer  which  they  had  brought  out 
with  them,  built  for  the  purpose,  and  named  the  Ilala 
after  the  place  where  Livingstone  had  died.  They 
landed  her  on  the  beach  at  the  Kongone  mouth, 
steered  her  through  the  shallows  of  the  Zambezi  and 
the  Shire,  unscrewed  her  into  eight  hundred  pieces 
at  the  Murchison  Falls,  and  had  these  pieces  carried 


on  the  heads  of  an  army  of  eight  hundred  natives 
over  a  roadless  track  for  upwards  of  sixty  miles,  not 
one  single  piece  being  wanting  at  the  journey's  end. 
There  they  reconstructed  the  steamer  and  launched 
her  again  on  the  Upper  Shir^.  It  was  a  lovely 
morning,  the  1 2th  of  October,  when  with  a  gentle 
breeze  the  Ilala  rode  over  the  swell  as  the  great  blue 
waters  of  Nyasa  received  the  first  steam-vessel  that 
had  ever  entered  an  African  lake.  "  God  speed  you," 
said  Mr.  Young  reverently.  "  Amen,"  responded  his 
companions.  Then  they  sang  a  hymn  together,  and 
a  service  of  devout  thanksgiving  was  conducted  on 
the  deck  of  the  little  vessel.  The  African  stillness 
was  broken  by  a  new  song,  even  praise  to  our  God, 
and  the  dream  of  Livingstone  for  the  healing  of  Africa 
began  to  be  a  reality.  Of  the  brave  men  who  stood 
there  that  day  only  one — Dr.  Laws  of  Bandawe — now 
remains  in  Africa,  left  alone  since  they  laid  Henry 
Henderson  to  his  rest  in  the  cemetery  at  Quilimane. 

In  all  the  work  of  this  memorable  expedition 
Henderson  had  his  full  share.  Six  days  later  he  was 
present  when  the  foundations  of  Livingstonia,  the 
station  of  the  Free  Church  Mission,  were  laid  at  Cape 
Maclear;  and  when  the  work  of  station-building  was 
fairly  begun,  he  started,  along  with  Dr.  Laws  and  Mr. 
Young,  on  a  voyage  of  exploration  round  the  lake,  his 
Committee's  instructions  to  him  being  to  proceed  first 
to  Lake  Nyasa.  The  hardships  and  privations  of  that 
voyage  are  well  told  by  Mr.  Young  in  his  "Journal 


of  a  Mission  to  Nyasa."  The  tremendous  gales  and 
fearful  seas  which  they  encountered  justified  the  title 
which  Livingstone  had  given  to  it,  "the  Lake  of 
Storms."  Then  the  vessel  was  small  and  the  accom- 
modation limited.  There  was  a  narrow  space  between 
the  gunwale  of  the  vessel  and  the  cabin-wall,  and  into 
this  Henderson  had  to  squeeze  himself  every  night ; 
and  ever  afterwards,  until  improvements  altered  the 
plan  of  the  vessel,  this  hole  was  called  "  Henderson's 
Coffin."  Hunger,  too,  was  added  to  other  discomforts, 
and  provisions  were  dealt  out  with  a  sparing  hand. 
On  one  occasion  Henderson  was  driven  by  hunger  to 
barter  his  handkerchief  at  a  village  where  they  stopped 
for  a  mess  of  native  porridge  and  rotten  fish.  But  all 
privations  were  taken  without  complaint  as  part  of 
the  contract.  His  examination  of  the  shores  of  the 
lake  satisfied  him  that  it  was  unsuitable  for  European 
occupation,  so  he  resolved  to  turn  back  and  explore 
the  Shir(3  Highlands,  the  mountainous  district  to  the 
south-east  of  the  lake.  These  Livingstone  had  always 
praised,  and  thither  the  great  traveller  had  himself  led 
the  first  Central  African  Mission  of  the  English  Univer- 
sities. That  Mission  had  had  to  be  abandoned,  leaving 
the  graves  of  the  noble  Bishop  M'Kenzie  and  his  three 
companions ;  but  kindly  memories  of  "  the  English  " 
still  lived  among  the  native  inhabitants.  To  that  dis- 
trict Henderson  accordingly  turned.  The  Ilala  brought 
him  down  as  far  as  Nsapa,  on  the  Upper  Shird,  and 
from  there,  with  Tom  Bokwito  (a  freed  slave  of  the 


old  Bishop  M'Kenzie  days)  as  his  interpreter,  and  four 
native  carriers  to  carry  his  loads,  he  started  to  explore 
the  Shir^  Hills.  And  now  he  was  indeed  on  that  strange 
and  lonely  path  which  God  had  marked  for  him  to  be  his 
own.  Eound  the  north  side  of  Mount  Zomba  he  went. 
He  stayed  for  some  days  with  an  old  chief,  Malemya, 
close  to  where  Domasi  Station  now  stands ;  then  he 
journeyed  on  to  the  neighbourhood  of  Mount  Chirazulo. 
Everywhere  the  natives  flocked  to  gaze  upon  the  first 
white  man  they  had  ever  seen.  At  jSTgludi  Hill  (near 
Soche)  the  illness  of  his  servant  kept  him  for  ten  days, 
and  gave  him  a  good  opportunity  of  familiarising  him- 
self with  the  district.  The  headman  of  the  village  sent 
him  on  to  his  chief,  Kapeni,  then  living  on  the  slopes 
of  Mount  Ndirande.  Everything  seemed  favourable, 
and  everywhere  he  was  welcomed.  Gradually  but 
surely  the  feeling  deepened  on  his  spirit  that  he  was 
now  in  the  neighbourhood  of  the  place  he  was  in  search 
of.  He  was  on  the  high,  healthy  plateau,  and  yet 
within  easy  reach  of  the  river,  the  means  of  com- 
munication with  the  coast.  The  natives  were  eager 
that  the  English  should  come  to  stay  among  them,  for 
they  would  protect  them  from  the  marauding  Angoni, 
before  whose  raids  they  had  been  driven  to  these  hills. 
The  natives  guided  him  to  several  likely  spots,  and 
from  these  he  selected  two,  either  of  which  would  be 
suitable.  With  his  mind  so  far  made  up,  but  leaving 
the  final  decision  till  he  should  return  with  the  mem- 
bers of  the  Mission  party,  whose  arrival  was  now  almost 


due,  he  made  his  way  down  towards  the  river.  About 
three  miles  from  his  camp  on  IMount  Ndirande  he 
halted  to  lunch  under  the  shade  of  a  large  tree  on  the 
banks  of  a  stream.  On  the  ridge  above  him  were  the 
ruins  of  a  native  village  whose  inhabitants  had  fled 
from  fear  of  the  Angoni.  One  solitary  hut  remained, 
inhabited  by  an  old  woman,  whom  neither  the  fear  of 
wild  beasts  nor  fear  of  the  still  wilder  Angoni  had 
been  able  to  drive  from  what  she  called  her  home. 
Henderson  sat  there  under  that  great  tree,  looking  at 
this  ridge  and  the  ruined  huts  that  crowned  it.  It 
was  one  of  the  two  sites  he  had  fixed  on.  Blantyre 
Church,  schoolhouses,  garden,  work-shops,  and  coffee- 
fields  crown  it  to-day.  The  wilderness  and  the  solitary 
place  are  glad,  and  the  desert  rejoices  and  blossoms 
as  the  rose. 

Thus  it  was  that  Henderson  chose  the  site  of 
Blantyre,  Not  long  ago,  before  the  sad  tidings  of  his 
death  had  come,  the  author  of  "Light  in  Africa" — 
himself  one  who  had  spent  twelve  years  in  an  African 
mission-field — said  to  me,  "  I  do  not  know  whether 
your  Church  recognises  her  indebtedness  to  Henry 
Henderson  or  not,  but  even  if  be  had  done  nothing 
but  chosen  the  site  of  Blantyre,  that  itself  would  have 
been  worthy  to  be  a  life's  work."  The  site,  in  the 
opinion  of  all  who  have  visited  it,  is  singularly  well 
chosen.  The  ground  rises  from  the  river  in  a  succes- 
sion of  terraces,  and  Blantyre  is  on  the  third  of  these, 
about  3000  feet  above  the  sea.     Gushing  springs  and 


flowing  streams  abound,  the  scenery  is  beautiful  and 
picturesque,  the  soil  is  fertile,  there  is  abundance  of 
good  timber,  the  chiefs  are  friendly,  the  people  are 
willing  to  receive  instruction,  and  the  climate  is  un- 
usually healthy.  In  the  words  of  Livingstone,  "  it 
needs  no  quinine."  Even  in  presence  of  the  recent 
melancholy  events,  we  must  not  forget  that  the  Mis- 
sion had  been  fifteen  years  there  without  one  single 
death  that  could  be  attributed  to  the  climate. 

Having  determined  on  the  site,  Henderson  took 
up  his  quarters  in  Ramukukan's  village,  among  the 
Makololo,  on  the  Lower  Shire,  to  await  the  coming  of 
the  expected  Mission  party.  And  wearily  he  had  to 
wait,  day  after  day  and  week  after  week.  The  fever 
that  haunts  the  river  caught  him,  and  for  days  he  was 
confined  to  his  hut,  all  alone  in  his  weakness,  his  only 
companions  his  New  Testament,  the  "  Christian  Year," 
and  a  volume  of  Cowper's  Poems.  Each  day  his  plate 
of  native  porridge  and  beans  was  cooked  and  brought 
to  him  by  one  of  the  chiefs  wives.  Thus  week  after 
week  passed  without  tidings  of  the  expected  party,  till 
three  months  had  gone.  Then  he  borrowed  a  canoe 
from  the  chief  and  set  off  down  the  river  in  search  of 
news  of  them.  All  the  way  to  the  Kongone  mouth 
he  went,  only  to  spend  another  weary  month  of  idle 
waiting  there.  He  was  ill ;  a  single  tin  of  sardines 
was  all  the  English  food  he  had  with  him.  Native 
food  was  scarce  and  dear,  and  his  troubles  threatened 
to  become  worse,  when  news  came  that  the  party  had 


arrived  at  Quilimane,  and  were  on  their  way  up  the 
Kwakwa  to  join  him  on  the  Zambezi.  Great  was 
their  disappointment  when  they  learned  that  not  Lake 
Nyasa  but  the  Shir^  Hills  was  to  be  the  site  of  the 
future  Mission.  The  succeeding  days  were  days  of 
trial  and  worry  and  disappointment  and  fever.  They 
ascended  the  river  in  boats  and  canoes,  the  only  means 
of  communication  in  those  days,  but  it  was  slow  and 
weary  work.  Ultimately  they  reached  Ramukukan's, 
and  here  Henderson  left  the  others  while  he  ascended 
the  hills  to  make  preparation  for  their  coming  in  a  day 
or  two.  Several  of  the  half-ruined  huts  were  repaired, 
and  on  the  23rd  October  1876  the  remainder  of  the 
Mission  party  came  up,  took  possession  and  founded 
Blantyre.  Once  they  were  well  settled  Henderson  con- 
sidered his  task  done  and  returned  home  for  a  time, 
He  had  found  what  he  had  been  sent  to  seek — a  site 
for  a  Mission.  Two  years  later,  however,  saw  him 
again  in  Africa,  and,  with  intervals  of  two  visits 
home  and  a  short  visit  to  a  brother  in  India,  he 
remained  there  till  his  death.  His  heart  was  in  the 
Mission  and  his  hand  was  ready  to  serve  it.  It  would 
be  difficult  to  say  what  was  his  department  or  what  it 
was  exactly  that  he  did.  He  always  shrank  from  the 
responsibility  of  fixed  and  definite  work.  He  was  no 
public  speaker  and  did  not  preach,  but  he  had  a  grand 
ideal  of  what  the  Mission  life  should  be — a  stooping- 
down  to  live  a  Christ-like  life  among  the  native  people. 
He  supplied  that  which  is  of  such  importance  in  any 


Mission,  and  especially  in  a  Mission  like  Blantyre.  He 
was  always  everywhere,  seeing  that  everything  and 
everybody  was  right.  The  natives  called  him  by  a 
name  which  meant  "  the  man  who  never  sleeps."  If 
goods  had  to  be  brought  up  from  the  river,  he  would 
see  about  it ;  if  something  were  wanted  for  the  school, 
or  the  church,  or  the  work-shops,  or  the  garden,  or  the 
cattle,  Mr,  Henderson  was  the  man  to  look  to  for  it. 
If  a  chief  had  to  be  treated  with,  or  a  village  trouble 
arranged,  or  a  gap  anywhere  to  be  filled,  or  an  ulendo 
(a  journey)  undertaken,  or  any  special  work  to  be  done 
at  home  in  Blantyre,  in  the  bush,  or  on  the  march,  Mr. 
Henderson  was  always  ready.  It  is  impossible  to  over- 
estimate what  he  was  to  the  Mission — a  wise  and 
judicious  counsellor  and  an  unfailing  help  in  any  time 
of  need. 

The  last  time  I  saw  him  was  in  February  1888,  the 
day  on  which,  in  the  little  Scotch  church  in  Cale- 
donian Road,  London,  I  married  him  to  Miss  Harriet 
Bowie,  the  younger  sister  of  Mrs.  D.  Clement  Scott. 
Oh,  how  proud  he  looked  that  day  standing  by  the 
bright,  brave  young  wife  who  was  going  to  share  with 
him  the  cares  of  the  Mission  in  that  African  home  ! 
As  on  a  new  lease  of  service  he  went  forth  again,  the 
spirit  of  such  willing  service  being  abundantly  shared 
by  his  gifted  wife.  Wherever  they  were  needed, — in 
whatever  part  of  the  work  they  could  be  of  most 
service, — that  was  where  they  both  desired  to  be. 
This  was  the  law  of  life  for  them  both.      And  what 


a  vast  field  of  usefulness  does  such  a  readiness  open 
up  in  a  place  like  Blantyre,  where  there  are  so  many- 
little  things  to  be  seen  to  that  do  not  technically 
belong  to  anybody  in  particular,  but  are  for  the  help 
and  comfort  of  all ! 

"  We  have  as  yet  made  Blantyre  our  headquarters," 
lie  wrote  after  returning,  "  contenting  ourselves  with 
two  trips — one  to  Chirazulo  and  one  to  Milanje.  It 
is  our  intention  to  go  to  Domasi  soon,  at  least  for  a 
week  or  two,  to  see  if  we  can  be  of  use  there  in  any 
way.  I  believe  the  place  would  be  much  benefited  by 
a  white  woman  being  there,  if  only  for  the  sake  of  the 
bachelors,  who  are  not  always  able  to  look  to  their 
own  comforts."  They  went  to  Domasi,  and  the  weeks 
lengthened  out  into  months,  and  the  presence  of  the 
white  woman,  so"  bright  and  capable,  so  thoughtful  for 
every  one,  and  so  industrious  and  practical,  came  like 
a  fountain  of  refreshing  to  the  little  community  there. 
They  made  a  trip  to  Milanje,  where  the  presence  of 
Mrs.  Henderson  was  taken  as  a  guarantee  that  their 
errand  was  a  peaceful  one,  and  they  were  well  received 
both  by  the  chief  and  his  people. 

After  some  time  they  returned  to  Blantyre,  where 
they  were  both  greatly  wanted  for  the  ever-increas- 
ing demands  of  the  work  there.  Most  heartily  they 
threw  themselves  into  it,  and  many  a  graphic  picture 
of  life  in  that  hive  of  industry  came  home,  flashed 
in  quick  touches  in  the  personal  letters  of  the  clever 
young  wife.     "  Every  one  here  is  as  busy  as  can  be," 


she  wrote.  "  There  is  endless  work,  and  the  sweating 
system  is  in  vogue!  Most  of  the  wives  in  Blantyre 
will  be  able  soon  to  take  medals  as  either  charwomen, 
bakers,  laundresses,  &c.,  and  two  of  them  would  be 
able  to  qualify  at  once  as  skeletons !  You  can  have  no 
idea  of  the  work.  It  is  delightful  work,  and  we  all 
enjoy  it,  but  all  the  same  it  is  very  hard.  .  .  .  We 
have  started  'the  Blantyre  Laundry,'  with  one  customer 
to  begin  with.  Mr.  Buchanan  is  making  a  large  table, 
and  we  hope  to  get  lots  of  irons,  &c.,  from  home.  We 
will  not,  however,  enlarge  our  custom  till  Mrs.  Fenwick 
returns.  Wonders  are  going  to  happen  then.  Just 
now  is  the  trying  season  of  the  year.  Every  one  is 
more  or  less  '  seedy '  except  myself  Mrs.  Scott  is  too 
hard-worked,  and  Mrs.  Tanner  has  been  ill  for  weeks. 
The  doctor  fears  she  may  have  to  go  home  unless  she 
picks  up,  as  we  all  hope  she  will  in  the  cold  season. 
Yet,  with  it  all,  life  out  here  is  just  delightful.  How 
thoroughly  you  would  enjoy  it  and  enter  into  it ! " 
Occasionally  clouds  of  anxiety  hovered  over  them,  and 
such  touches  came  in  as,  "  This  mail  has  brought  us 
sad  news  from  Uganda.  We  are  well  off  here,  at  least 
in  the  meantime ; "  or  again,  "  The  news  from  the 
river  is  rather  disquieting  again.  These  troubles  with 
the  Portuguese  keep  us  all  anxious." 

By-and-by  the  birth  of  a  son  brought  a  new  joy  into 
the  home  of  the  pioneer  missionary  and  his  wife,  and 
very  proud  and  happy  they  were  in  this  gift  of  God. 
"The  Boy  Henderson,"  as  they  playfully  called  him, 


or  "  the  Little  Cardinal  "  (so  Mr.  Hetherwick  entitled 
him),  with  his  rosy,  chubby  cheeks  and  bright  eyes, 
was  a  new  centre  of  attraction  in  the  little  community, 
and  the  growth  of  motherhood  in  the  young  mother's 
heart  seemed  to  deepen  her  affection  for  the  little 
black  children  that  were  her  special  care. 

From  one  of  her  latest  letters  we  may  quote  the 
following  glimpse  of  a  woman's  work  in  the  missionary 
home: — "We  have  a  great  many  girls  just  now,"  she 
writes,  "  somewhere  about  sixty — fourteen  of  them  from 
the  river.  Four  of  them  arrived  yesterday  who  had 
been  away  since  the  death  of  Katunga  (a  Makololo 
chief  who  had  been  one  of  Livingstone's  men).  We 
did  not  expect  them  back.  Then,  when  Masea  sent 
his  five  daughters  back  after  the  holidays,  he  sent  five 
daughters  of  his  different  headmen  along  with  them. 
We  have  great  difficulty  in  disposing  of  them  at  night. 
In  fact,  we  have,  as  it  were,  to  pack  them  in  at  night 
and  unpack  them  in  the  morning !  The  dormitory  is 
far  too  small.  These  girls  all  live  in  the  house,  and 
about  twenty-five  boys  as  well,  so  you  may  understand 
how  Mr.  Waddell  (a  visitor)  thought  this  an  interest- 
ing place.  He  came  into  contact  with  the  children 
a  great  deal,  for  they  run  about  the  house.  About  a 
dozen  of  these  girls  are  finished  with  school  and  do 
industrial  work,  most  of  them  in  the  laundry,  as  well 
as  house-work.  The  children  are  what  one  might 
call  'jolly,' — full  of  fun  and  brightness — that  is,  the 
majority  of  them.      Never  a  meal  passes,  almost,  at 


which  we  have  not  some  bit  of  fun  to  tell  about 

"  Dressing  all  these  children  is  quite  a  thought — 
where  to  get  clothes  for  them  all.  The  mission-boxes 
are  very  nice,  but  the  clothes  last  no  time  ;  the  sun 
rots  them,  and  we  are  continually  making  new  gar- 
ments. Just  now  we  have  set  ourselves — Mrs.  Fen- 
wick,  Bella  (Mrs.  Scott),  and  I — to  make  one  shirt 
each  for  so  many  days  till  we  get  all  the  boys  clothed. 
I  have  the  boys  in  charge  for  dressing  and  washing. 
The  latter  is  a  lengthy  process  just  at  present.  They 
have  to  be  washed  in  hot  water  and  carbolic  and 
rubbed  with  sulphur  ointment — treatment  for  an  irrup- 
tion they  have,  I  tell  them,  with  eating  too  much(!), 
at  which  they  laugh  derisively.  I  don't  think  there 
could  be  a  nicer  place  to  work  in  than  here." 

Thus  time  went  on,  and  for  nearly  three  years 
they  laboured  lovingly  together,  and  then  with  almost 
tropical  suddenness  the  shadows  fell,  and  without  a 
twilight  the  night  came.  Henderson  caught  fever 
when  on  a  journey  down  at  the  river.  The  attack  was 
pretty  severe,  and  the  malaria  hung  about  him,  but 
neither  he  nor  his  wife  thought  it  more  serious  than 
the  usual  fever  caught  on  the  river.  His  wife  could 
write : — "  I  am  sorry  to  say  Harry  is  not  at  all  well. 
He  looks  as  yellow  as  a  leinon.  Jack  (Dr.  Bowie)  has 
given  him  a  tonic  and  a  bottle  of  port.  He  ought  to 
take  a  glass  and  a  half  a  day,  but  it  is  amusing  to 
hear  his  dodges  to  avoid  taking  it :   '  I  think  I  will 


take  a  little  milk  instead,'  or  'a  lemon  drink,'  and  so 
on.  Jack  thinks  he  ought  to  leave  before  the  hot 
weather  comes;  he  himself  is  anxious  to  try  another 
year,  I  tell  him  people  will  think  he  is  baby's  great- 
grandfather. He  looks  about  150  years  old  just  now! 
He  is  so  thin,  too,  and  yellow  and  shrivelled  up,  and 
altogether  miserable.  He  is  so  different  these  last  few 
months  from  what  he  used  to  be.  The  least  thing 
tires  him,  even  going  to  Mandala ;  and  before,  he  used 
never  to  be  in,  but  was  always  walking  about  the 
place.  Probably  he  will  be  himself  soon  again."  Ah ! 
never  again,  bright  young  wife !  There  is  that  coming 
which  will  be  harder  on  him  than  the  fever-fiend  of 
the  river,  but  you  will  not  be  there  to  see  him  reel 
and  fall  from  the  blow. 

By-and-by  the  doctor  ordered  him  home,  assuring 
him  that  if  another  attack  came  he  could  not  weather 
it.  With  great  reluctance  and  disappointment  of  heart 
they  began  preparations  for  returning  home  for  good. 
Then  came  the  terrible  diphtheria,  of  which  the  next 
chapter  tells.  It  took  from  him  within  ten  days  first 
his  child,  and  then  his  wife,  and  then  his  brother-in- 
law,  Dr.  Bowie,  and  left  him  shattered  in  health  and 
broken  in  spirit,  to  start  for  this  country.  Before  he 
left,  he  slipped  away  alone  to  pay  a  last  sad  visit  to 
the  little  cemetery  where  his  beloved  had  been  laid. 
It  was  no  wonder  that  as  he  knelt  by  the  fresh  graves 
the  storm  of  grief  swayed  through  him  like  an  autumn 
wind  through  the  leafless  trees.     He  was  able,  however, 


to  take  charge  of  the  home-coming  party  during  the 
journey  down  the  river  with  his  usual  care,  and  he 
seemed  the  better  for  the  occupation  which  it  gave 

At  Qailimane  there  was  a  short  delay  waiting  for 
a  steamer,  and  while  there  the  dreaded  fever  came 
again.  He  was  in  the  house  of  Mr.  Boss,  agent  of  the 
African  Lakes  Company,  where  he  had  every  possible 
kindness;  and  both  Dr.  Henry  of  the  Livingstonia 
Mission,  who  was  his  fellow-traveller,  and  the  doctor 
at  Quilimane,  did  him  everything  that  human  skill  and 
care  could  do,  but  in  vain.  God's  time  was  come.  The 
day's  toil  was  over,  his  wanderings  were  at  an  end,  and 
very  gently,  very  softly,  like  a  little  child,  he  literally 
fell  asleep.  Not  a  word  of  farewell,  not  a  struggle, 
not  even  a  sigh,  but  in  the  sweet  peace  of  God  the 
eyes  closed  and  the  weary  traveller  was  at  rest,  the 
sorrowful  spirit  was  comforted,  the  divided  family 
was  reunited,  and  were  together  in  the  heavenly 
home.  Well  done,  good  and  faithful  servant;  enter 
thou  into  the  joy  of  thy  Lord  ! 

They  buried  him  in  the  cemetery  at  Quilimane,  and 
thus  he  lies  at  the  gateway  of  Nyasaland,  Europe  and 
Africa  alike  mourning  his  loss.  Among  many  tokens 
of  the  regard  in  which  he  was  held,  at  home  as  well 
as  abroad,  none  was  more  touching  than  the  graceful 
tribute  which  two  of  the  Judges  of  the  Court  of 
Session  in  Edinburgh  paid  to  the  memory  of  their  old 
college  friend.     In  the  Parish  Church  of  Kinclaven, 


by  the  winding  Tay,  there  may  now  be  seen  a  Memorial 
Tablet  bearing  the  following  inscription : — 


Pioneer  of  the  Church  of  Scotland's  Mission  at  Blantyrc, 

in  East  Africa. 

Son  of  the  hxte  Rev.  II.  Henderson,  D.D.,  Minister  of  this 


Bom  at  the  Manse,  April  14,  1843. 

Died  at  Quilimane,  February  12,  1891. 

And  there  buried. 

Tliis  t;iV)let  was  erected  by  his  old  college  friends,  the  Right  Ilonoiir- 
able  J.  P.  B.  Robertson,  M.P.,  Lord  Advocate  of  Scotland,  and  Lord 
Stornionth  Darling,  to  commemorate  in  the  church  of  his  native  jiarisli 
a  life  of  enterprise,  gentleness,  courage,  self-denial,  and  absolute  devotion 
to  the  sei-vice  of  Almighty  God. 

"If  any  man  serve  Me,  him  %cill  My  Father  honour." 

— St.  John  xii.  26. 






The  son  of  a  much-respected  citizen  of  Edinburgh 
(Mr.  Henry  Bowie,  long  secretary  of  the  Philosophical 
Institution),  Dr.  Bowie  was  as  truly  a  representative 
of  the  city  as  Henry  Henderson  was  of  the  country, 
for  all  his  life  till  he  went  to  Africa  he  had  been 
accustomed  to  a  city  life.  Born  in  1858,  he  was  an 
only  son,  but  had  three  sisters,  two  of  whom  (Mrs.  D. 
C.  Scott  and  Mrs.  Henderson),  along  with  himself, 
have  given  their  lives  to  Africa.  His  first  step  on  the 
ladder  was  taken  when,  as  a  little  boy  of  five,  he  went 
with  his  two  sisters  to  a  lady's  school  at  Wardie, 
taught  by  a  Miss  Baird,  a  relative  of  General  Baird  of 
Indian  celebrity.  Who  that  saw  the  quiet,  shy  little 
fellow  in  those  days  would  have  dreamed  that  a  time 
would  come  when  that  boy  would  step  aside  from  a 
place  in  the  foremost  rank  of  his  profession  that  he 
might,  Christ-like,  spend  and  be  spent  for  the  re- 
demption of  Africa ;  and  that  one  day  men  would  hold 
their  breath  as  they  read  how,  away  in  that  far-off 
land,  he  died  for  others,  with  the  courage  of  a  hero, 
the  spirit  of  a  martyr,  and  the  devotion  of  a  saint  ? 


When  he  outgrew  this  school  he  passed  through 
the  High  School  of  Edinburgh,  and  subsequently  went 
to  business,  obtaining  an  appointment  in  an  office 
in  Leith.  It  is  said  of  him  as  a  boy  that  among 
strangers  he  was  quiet  and  retiring,  and  no  one  who 
saw  him  thus  would  have  fancied  that  he  had  any  fun 
in  him  at  all.  But  see  him  at  home  romping  with  his 
sisters  and  he  was  very  different.  There  he  was  full  of 
fun, — an  inveterate  tease  to  them,  keeping  them  always 
lively,  and  it  was  no  wonder  that  they  were  devoted  to 
him  and  all  their  lives  were  proud  of  Jack.  On  leaving 
school  they  had  sent  him  to  business,  but  his  heart 
was  elsewhere,  and  he  had  other  dreams  of  life.  One 
day  he  came  home,  and,  to  his  father's  surprise,  an- 
nounced that  he  had  passed  the  medical  preliminary 
examination,  and  begged  that  he  might  be  allowed  to 
become  a  medical  student.  His  father,  seeing  how 
his  heart  was  set  on  it,  wisely  acceded  to  his  request, 
and  he  went  to  college,  where  he  worked  very  hard 
and  with  great  success. 

In  the  glimpses  we  get  of  him  at  this  time  we  can 
trace  a  blending  of  qualities  that  afterwards  made 
him  what  he  was  in  Africa.  He  was  at  once  the 
simple,  light-hearted,  child-like  boy  and  the  earnest 
and  enthusiastic  student.  A  friend  and  playmate  of 
those  days  writes : — "  He  worked  very  hard,  and  was 
most  interested  and  enthusiastic  in  his  work.  When 
he  got  any  new  medicine  we  had  all  to  try  it,  and 
Harriet  and  I  were  often   unwillingly  made  subjects 

DR.  JOHN  BOWIE.  79 

for  his  experiments.  I  remember  once,  when  he  was 
studying  the  eye,  we  were  made  to  stand  with  a  full 
glare  of  light  shining  into  our  eyes  while  he  ex- 
amined them  through  an  ophthalmoscope.  On  another 
occasion  I  remember  we  three  were  alone  one  even- 
ing, and  Jack  was  chasing  us  round  the  table  trying 
to  pour  tea  down  our  throats  much  against  our  wills. 
We  had  both  jumped  on  chairs  to  be  out  of  his  reach, 
when  the  door  suddenly  opened  and  one  of  his  fel- 
low-students was  ushered  in !  We  all  felt  decidedly 
caught,  and  I  do  think  Jack  was  a  little  bit  ashamed." 
The  youth  who  had  called  for  Bowie  the  student  had 
found  Jack  the  boy.  But  even  in  those  days,  with 
all  their  fun  and  frolic,  there  was  something  about 
him  that  made  his  companions  feel  that  Jack  Bowie 
was  very  true,  very  reliable, — a  fellow  they  could  trust. 
How  diligently  and  faithfully  he  worked  at  college  is 
shown  by  the  places  he  took  in  his  classes.  He  was 
one  of  the  first  students  of  his  time.  Not  every 
medical  student  can  carry  home  a  gold  medal  for 
Physiology,  another  for  Natural  History,  and  a  third 
for  the  Practice  of  Medicine,  besides  numerous  other 
honours.  By  force  of  his  own  ability  and  diligence 
he  was  opening  out  a  career  for  himself.  For  a 
short  time  he  acted  as  class-assistant  to  the  Professor 
of  Physiology  in  Edinburgh  University,  and  then 
he  proceeded  to  Vienna  for  further  study,  specially 
in  connection  with  diseases  of  the  ear  and  throat. 
Thereafter,  when  duly  qualified,  and  with  experience 


enriched  by  a  considerable  hospital  practice,  he  went 
to  London  to  join  his  brother-in-law,  Dr.  Potter  (now 
the  editor  of  the  Hospital),  in  a  large  and  lucrative 
practice.  From  the  time  he  began  practice  it  seemed 
almost  as  if  the  sense  of  responsibility  deepened 
visibly  upon  him.  In  his  unremitting  devotion  to  his 
patients  he  seemed  to  carry  about  with  him  the  burden 
of  anxious  cases,  and  a  grave  look  often  shadowed  his 
bright  brown  eyes.  He  was  an  immense  favourite 
with  his  patients.  His  quiet,  thoughtful,  kindly 
manner  inspired  confidence,  and  they  trusted  him 
implicitly.  In  the  words  of  one  of  them,  "his  fine 
eyes  looked  at  one  in  such  a  true,  friendly,  earnest 
way,  that  one  felt  sure  this  grave  doctor  would  do  all 
he  could."  In  1886  he  married  Miss  Sara  Hankey, 
daughter  of  a  retired  Indian  officer,  and  in  a  pretty, 
bright  London  home  they  settled  happily  together.  It 
was  a  time  of  sunshine  for  them — a  growing  practice, 
a  good  income,  bright  prospects,  numerous  friends,  a 
happy  home.  It  was  in  the  midst  of  this  sunshine 
that  the  call  of  God  came. 

During  a  visit  of  Mr.  and  Mrs.  D.  Clement  Scott  to 
this  country  Dr.  Bowie  was  brought  much  into  contact 
with  the  idea  of  Africa's  need,  and  he  began  to  realise 
it.  The  wail  of  her  woes  sounded  in  his  ear,  and  it 
went  to  his  heart.  It  seemed  to  him  that  there  was  a 
splendid  field  there  for  medical  mission  work,  and  yet 
medical  work  seemed  to  have  been  rather  neglected  in 
all  the  African  Missions.     The  thought  of  what  such  a 

DR.  JOHN  BOWIE.  8i 

one  as  lie  might  do  there,  with  his  gift  of  healing 
consecrated  to  God,  took  hold  of  him.  He  thought  of 
the  hollowness,  the  unreality,  the  hypocrisy  of  life  as 
he  could  see  it  in  the  great  city  around  him,  and  a 
purpose,  God-begotten  and  God-cherished,  began  to 
grow  in  his  soul.  In  many  an  earnest  talk  with  his 
like-minded  wife  it  was  fostered.  We  cannot  trace  the 
stages  of  its  growth — we  would  not  if  we  could — but 
we  can  understand  how  deep,  how  real,  was  the  con- 
viction that  grew  up  within  him  that  God  was  calling 
him  to  go  himself;  and  we  can  praise  God  for  the  day 
when  he  saw  his  way  clearly,  and  was  able  to  write  the 
Convener  of  the  Church  of  Scotland's  Foreign  Mission 
Committee  that  he  was  prepared  to  give  up  all  and  go 
as  a  medical  missionary  to  Africa,  if  the  Committee 
would  accept  him.  We  can  hardly  realise  what  that 
sentence  meant  to  him  when  he  wrote  it.  He  was  no 
blind  enthusiast,  carried  away  by  a  dream.  He  knew 
quite  well  what  he  was  doing  and  what  it  meant.  He 
had  counted  the  cost.  The  comforts  of  home,  a  devoted 
circle  of  friends,  professional  ambition,  and  the  cer- 
tainty, humanly  speaking,  of  wealth  and  position — all 
were  his,  and  deliberately,  unostentatiously,  devoutly,  in 
penning  that  sentence  he  laid  them  all  as  a  sacrifice 
on  the  altar  of  God.  Oh,  how  small  one  feels  in  the 
presence  of  such  noble  self-sacrifice  as  that !  Who  of 
us  is  worthy  to  unloose  the  latchet  of  its  shoes  ? 

And  how  did  the  Church  accept  such  a  gift,  offered 
at  such  a  cost  ?     It  grates  upon  one's  feelings  to  have 


to  record  the  Committee's  reply,  that  for  want  of  funds 
they  daren't  say  that  they  would  accept  even  such  an 
oflfer  as  that !  But  they  would  ask  the  Church  ;  and  it 
is  something  to  be  able  to  tell  that  within  a  fortnight 
the  Church  replied  by  subscribing  the  £2600  required 
to  provide  for  the  cost  of  his  journey  out  and  his  modest 
salary  for  five  years,  and  Dr.  Bowie  was  told  that  his 
noble  offer  of  service  for  Africa  was  accepted.  There 
was  something  very  characteristic  in  his  reply.  He 
thanked  the  Committee  for  accepting  him !  And  he 
added,  "Should  it  be  that  I  go  to  Africa,  I  trust  the 
Church  will  have  no  reason  to  regret  her  choice." 
Assuredly  she  has  not,  and  it  is  some  comfort  to-day 
to  know  that  never  for  one  moment  did  he  regret  it 
either.  ^ 

I  cannot  lead  you  through  the  experiences  of  the 
next  two  months — busy,  trying  months  for  him  and 
his  young  wife ;  the  breaking  up  of  the  pretty  home, 
the  parting  with  the  things  that  had  made  it  so  home- 
like, the  preparations  for  their  African  life,  the  hurried 
"good-byes"  to  friends.  Only  those  who  have  gone 
through  it  can  know  what  tear-and-wear  these  mean  to 
a  human  heart,  and  how  much  of  it  can  be  compressed 
into  two  short  months.  But  all  was  accomplished,  and 
they  sailed  from  London  on  the  14th  April  1887.  As 
they  were  just  leaving  the  shores  of  England  he  wrote 
Dr.  M'Murtrie,  the  Foreign  Mission  Convener,  a  brief 
note  which  showed  the  current  of  his  thoughts  as  he 
went.     "  There  are  a  number  of  engineers  on  board," 

DR.  JOHN  BOWIE.  83 

he  said,  "  going  out  to  Delagoa  Bay  to  lay  a  railroad. 
Perhaps  in  a  few  years  others  may  be  going  out  to  lay 
one  to  Blantyre !  I  hope,"  he  continues,  "  that  by  the 
time  I  see  you  again  I  may  have  done  some  useful 
work  for  the  Church  and  for  Africa."  Thus,  when  the 
Ilawarden  Castle  steamed  out  into  the  open  sea  and 
the  dark  night.  Jack  Bowie  on  her  deck,  full  of  hope 
and  purpose,. went  forth  with  God. 

Of  the  voyage  out  and  the  journey  up  the  river  we 
have  an  account  from  his  own  pen.  Writing  of  it  he 
says : — "  Of  our  voyage  from  London  to  the  Cape  little 
can  be  said,  except  that  it  was  like  other  voyages." 
After  describing  Cape  Town  and  Natal,  he  continues : — 
"  At  last  we  reached  our  seaport,  Quilimane,  where  we 
arrived  on  a  Sunday  afternoon  just  as  the  bells  were 
ringing  for  church.  Sara  (his  wife)  certainly  was  very 
glad  to  be  finished  with  the  sea  and  ships.  All  the 
way  up  the  coast  Sara  appeared  on  deck  as  we  came 
into  port,  and  disappeared  as  we  left  port !  We  were 
five  or  six  days  at  Quilimane  getting  our  boxes  safely 
through  the  Custom  House.  Quilimane  is  a  very  dull 
little  place,  only  interesting  as  being  a  fair  (fair  in  the 
sense  of  just)  specimen  of  a  Portuguese  settlement. 
It  must  once  have  been  a  place  of  some  little  impor- 
tance, or  some  inhabitant  of  it  must  once  have  had  some 
energy,  for  it  contains  a  church  built  of  stones  brought 
all  the  way  from  Portugal.  The  place  is  Portuguese, 
and  therefore  all  the  business  is  done  by  French,  Ger- 
mans, Dutch,  Scotch,  and  East  Indians.     There  is  not, 


SO  far  as  I  am  aware,  a  single  Portuguese  house  of 
business  except  the  Custom  House. 

"...  From  Quilimane  we  had  to  go  up  the 
Kwa-Kwa  for  about  eighty  miles.  This  river  is  in 
the  rainy  season  a  tributary  of  the  Zambezi,  but  in 
the  dry  season  there  is  a  mile  or  two  of  dry  land 
between  them.  We  went  up  in  a  small,  open 
boat  like  a  good-sized  ordinary  pleasure-boat,  with  a 
small  box  or  hut  in  the  centre,  where  we  lived.  Our 
crew  consisted  of  eight  black  'boys'  or  men  and  a 
headman  called  a  '  capitan.'  This  man  was  supposed 
to  speak  and  understand  English,  but  of  course  didn't, 
so  we  had  considerable  difficulty  and  amusement  in 
making  ourselves  understood.  The  journey  was  really 
'  roughing  it.'  For  provision  for  five  days  we  had  only 
some  bread,  four  chickens  (about  the  size  of  pigeons), 
some  coffee,  one-pound  tin  of  salt  beef,  and  some  water. 
Then  we  had  to  be  all  day  and  all  night  in  our  little 
rabbit-hutch,  into  which  we  could  just  manage  to  get 
our  two  deck-chairs  (which,  luckily,  were  comfortable 
ones),  and  in  these  we  had  to  recline  all  day  and  sleep 
all  night.  Only  one  of  us  could  get  off  the  chair  at  a 
time,  and  then  the  unfortunate  individual  had  to  kneel 
on  the  floor  to  avoid  lifting  the  roof  off".  The  floor 
consisted  of  about  eight  inches  interval  between  the 
two  chairs.  However,  we  just  made  a  picnic  of  the 
thing  and  enjoyed  ourselves.  We  thought  had  we 
been  at  home  such  a  time  would  have  been  considered 
a  delightful  adventure,  so  we  just  made  home  there — 

DR.  JOHN  BOWIE.  85 

and  really  the  river  is  very  picturesque  at  some  parts. 
For  the  first  day  or  day  and  a  half  the  water  is  very 
dirty,  the  banks  very  muddy,  and  little  to  be  seen  save 
now  and  again  a  crocodile  lazily  basking  in  the  sun ; 
but  after  a  time  the  banks  become  well  clothed  with 
vegetation,  the  water  gets  clear,  and  every  few  miles 
the  stream  widens  out  into  a  small  lake  perhaps  one 
or  two  hundred  yards  wide,  on  the  shores  of  which 
one  notices  truly  tropical  vegetation — cocoa-nut  palms, 
Palmyra  palms,  &c.  These  little  lakes  are  very  beau- 
tiful, and  when  the  men  come  to  them  they  put  on  a 
spurt  and  make  the  boat  jump  through  the  water,  the 
men  singing  cheerily  and  not  unmusically  the  while. 
The  mode  of  progression  is  somewhat  peculiar.  The 
men  all  sit  facing  the  bow  of  the  boat.  Each  man 
has  a  paddle  of  wood  shaped  somewhat  like  a  tennis- 
racquet,  and  about  the  same  size.  His  left  hand  he 
places  on  the  end  of  the  handle,  while  his  right  grasps 
the  paddle  close  to  the  blade ;  then  lifting  the  paddle 
vertically  and  bending  forward,  he  plunges  it  into  the 
water  and  pulls  it  towards  him.  They  try  to  keep  time 
with  the  pluDge,  so  that  the  eight  sound  as  one  good 

"  On  the  third  day  we  met  a  canoe  coming  down 
with  a  letter  from  Bella  (Mrs.  Scott),  telling  us  of  the 
death  of  Mrs.  M'llwain.  This  was  a  great  blow,  and 
quite  took  away  all  further  interest  in  our  journey. 
The  fourth  evening  we  arrived  at  the  end  of  our  Kwa- 
Kwa  journey,  and  got  out  of  our  boat  (for  the  first  time 


since  getting  in),  and  crossed  to  Vicentis,  a  few  huts 
on  the  Zambezi,  where  David,  Bella  (Mr.  and  Mrs. 
Scott),  and  party  were.  Here  we  had  to  wait  five  days 
before  the  new  steamer  came  and  was  ready  to  take  us 
on  board.  It  was  a  somewhat  strange  sensation  to 
find  ourselves  walking  out  by  moonlight,  looking  down 
from  the  high  bank  on  the  Zambezi,  flowing  smoothly 
past  us — strange  that  it  was  so  little  strange !  People 
leave  home  expecting  to  come  upon  marvels,  and  we 
are  surprised  to  find  that  the  world  is  very  much  alike 
all  round.  You  might  have  imagined  yourself  back 
two  thousand  years  and  looking  down  upon  the  Thames 
from  a  cluster  of  huts  called  London !  Our  arrival  at 
Vicentis  to  a  small  extent  helped  to  lessen  the  sadden- 
ing effect  of  poor  Mrs.  M'llwain's  death.  We  lived 
in  veritable  grass  huts,  dined  in  a  shed,  and  otherwise 
rusticated.  The  women  portion  ransacked  the  Com- 
pany's store  (the  African  Lakes  Company  have  a  station 
at  Vicentis)  to  find  wherewith  to  produce  more  savoury 
meals  than  the  poor  starved  fowl  or  nkuku  could 
afford.  In  this  way  they  had  plenty  to  do.  At  last 
the  steamer  was  ready, — at  least  everything  was  ready 
except  that  some  injector-pipes  had  to  be  brazed,  and 
now  they  found  they  had  no  borax  wherewith  to  melt 
the  brass.  A  trifle  this,  one  would  think,  but  really 
a  serious  matter  on  the  Zambezi,  many  miles  from 
a  borax-shop,  fortunately,  Sara  had  brought  some 
borax,  which  she  had  intended  for  a  different  use, 
viz.,  to  make  my  white  shirts  beautiful,  and  by  much 

DR.  JOHN  BOWIE.  87 

searching  we  came  upon  it,  and  handed  it  over  to 
braze  the  pipes.  At  last  everything  was  ready  and 
everybody  on  board,  and  off  we  went,  nobody  sorry 
to  leave  Vicentis.  We  had  one  day  and  a  half  on  the 
Zambezi,  then  branched  off  into  the  Shire,  up  which 
we  journeyed  for  seven  days,  a  large  portion  of  the 
time  being  spent  stuck  fast  upon  sand-banks.  It  was 
the  first  trip  of  the  steamer,  and  she  drew  more  water 
than  was  anticipated,  and  the  river  in  many  parts  is 
very  shallow,  and — what  was  worse — nobody  seemed 
to  know  the  channel,  so  we  just  went  dodging  about 
playing  at  blind-man's-buff,  the  channel  being  the 
object  of  search.  An  hour  or  so  up  from  Vicentis  we 
landed  at  Shupanga,  and  visited  Mrs.  Livingstone's 
and  Mrs.  M'llwain's  graves.  The  large  baobab-tree 
under  which  Dr.  Livingstone  buried  his  wife  had 
fallen,  its  foundations  eaten  away  by  white-ants. 
They  had  eaten  their  way  about  five  feet  up  the 
inside  of  the  tree,  and  a  high  wind  coming,  it  snapped 
in  two.  It  is  not  dead,  however,  and  is  sprouting 
again  in  its  fallen  position.  The  whole  journey  was 
most  picturesque.  After  entering  the  Shir^  we  had 
hills  on  our  right  all  the  way  up,  the  country  between 
the  banks  and  the  hills  being  finely  wooded.  Of 
African  monsters,  we  saw  many  dozens  of  hippos,  a 
number  of  crocodiles,  eight  or  ten  elephants,  many 
eagles,  and  some  antelopes. 

"  We   arrived  at  Katunga's   (our  landing-place  for 
Blantyre)   about   four  in    the    afternoon,   and   at  9.30 


next  morning  started  to  walk  the  twenty-nine  miles 
from  there  to  Blantyre,  and  after  undreamt-of  labour 
we  reached  Blantyre  about  8  p.m.  the  same  night.  A 
walk  of  twenty-nine  miles  all  uphill  under  an  African 
sun  is  a  labour  more  enjoyed  retrospectively  than  pro- 
spectively.    It  is  something  to  have  accomplished." 

Thus  the  party  reached  Blantyre,  and  soon  they  got 
settled  down  to  life  there.  What  a  changed  world 
that  was  in  which  the  London  doctor  now  found  him- 
self! Everything  was  changed — life,  surroundings, 
patients,  circumstances,  appliances — everything  except 
the  doctor  himself.  He  was  here,  in  dark  Africa, 
the  same  quiet,  kindly,  earnest,  attentive,  methodical 
doctor  he  had  been  among  his  London  patients.  Very 
soon  he  became  a  central  feature  in  the  community,  and 
gradually  the  whole  life  of  the  place,  native  and  Euro- 
pean alike,  became  aglow  with  devotion  to  him,  the  key 
to  it  all  being  his  own  perfect  unselfishness  in  his  care 
for  others.  Eobert  Cleland  afterwards  wrote  of  him  : — 
"  What  a  splendid  man  Dr.  Bowie  is !  I  could  trust 
my  life  to  him  in  any  circumstances.  It  is  beautiful 
to  see  him  treat  the  natives  who  come  to  his  dispen- 
sary every  morning  with  their  complaints  and  sores  as 
kindly  and  attentively  as  he  would  the  best  lady  or 
gentleman  in  his  practice  at  home."  And  what  Cleland 
wrote  everybody  felt.  He  had  at  once  settled  down  to 
regular  methodical  work,  and  very  hard  work  it  was. 
He  was  a  diligent  student,  regularly  devoting  several 
hours  a  doy  to  study ;  not  only  keeping  himself  abreast 

DR.  JOHN  BOWIE.  89 

of  the  latest  medical  science,  but  keeping  up  his  read- 
ing in  Greek  and  German,  as  well  as  the  current 
literature  of  the  day.  How  he  did  it  all,  especially  in 
that  climate,  was  a  marvel,  for  no  doctor  ever  devoted 
himself  more  assiduously  to  his  patients,  whether 
black  or  white.  A  little  girl  in  a  London  hospital 
once  amused  the  nurses  by  giving  as  a  message  for 
the  doctor : — "  Please,  I  want  the  doctor  to  come 
and  sit  down  and  talk  to  me."  They  laughed  at 
her.  It  was  so  absurd !  Yet  that  was  exactly  what 
Dr.  Bowie  seemed  somehow  to  find  time  to  do  for  his 
patients.  One  who  owed  much  to  his  care  and  skill 
says : — "  He  just  sat  down  to  talk  to  you,  and  he  found 
out  in  no  time  what  your  tastes  were  and  what  you 
cared  about.  He  was  a  splendid  conversationalist,  and 
could  talk  on  any  subject.  Then  he  brought  you 
books,  which  were  just  of  the  kind  to  interest  you. 
He  was  a  perfect  circulating  library  in  himself,  and 
his  books  and  his  talks  and  his  care  over  you  did 
as  much  for  you  as  his  drugs."  No  wonder  that  the 
doctor  was  a  man  greatly  beloved.  And  yet,  with  all 
this,  he  found  time  to  have  leisure  which  he  could 
spend  with  the  boys,  to  their  great  delight  and  un- 
speakable good.  If  you  had  dropped  into  his  dining- 
room  of  an  evening,  you  would  probably  have  found 
him  with  a  great  gathering  of  boys  clustering  round 
him,  talking  with  them,  playing  with  them  in  their 
simple  native  games,  making  friends  with  them — all 
the  while  winning  their  young  hearts  for  God.     How 


they  loved  those  evenings !  and  how  they  loved  the 
doctor!  and  how  he  loved  them!  "You  cannot  help 
getting  very  fond  of  the  natives,"  he  wrote,  "  and  you 
cannot  help  feeling  that  they  are  veritably  your  brother 
and  sister.  They  are  very,  very  human."  He  had  a 
dispensary,  which  was  largely  attended,  but  it  was  not 
long  till  he  found  that  an  hospital  of  some  sort  was  a 
necessity  if  some  of  his  cases  were  to  be  treated  suc- 
cessfully at  all.  With  considerable  difficulty  he  got 
it,  and  you  and  I  might  have  smiled  at  it  if  we  had 
visited  it.     Here  is  his  own  description  of  it : — 

"  We  have  now  got  the  hospital  ready  and  open.  It 
is  a  very  poor  place  for  what  we  understand  by  an 
hospital,  being  merely  a  long  mud  house  of  three 
rooms,  with  mud  floors,  and  neither  beds  nor  bedding. 
There  are  two  windows  and  one  door  to  each  room, 
but  in  the  present  rather  cold  weather  these  are,  in 
the  patients'  eyes,  a  most  distinct  disadvantage,  as 
the  wind  blows  through  the  many  chinks  with  any- 
thing but  pleasing  sound  to  the  scantily  clothed 
inmates.  However,  this  is  but  the  first  step  towards 
an  African  St.  Bartholomew's,  and  in  Africa  before  all 
places  one  has  to  '  hasten  slowly.'  In  addition  to  this 
mud  hospital,  we  have  two  other  houses  in  Blantyre 
entirely  devoted  to  patients.  When  a  sick  person 
comes  here  to  stay  he  does  not  come  alone.  With 
him  comes  his  mother  to  cook  for  him  and  drive  away 
the  flies  from  his  couch.  With  the  mother  come  the 
father  and  brother,  uncles  and  cousins,  who  cut  wood 

DR.  JOHN  BOWIE.  91 

for  the  fire,  smoke,  sympathise,  and  gossip  with  the 
sick  man  and  his  visitors.  Most  of  these  attendants 
sleep  in  the  same  room  as  the  patients,  and  this  very 
soon  fills  up  a  small  hospital.  It  would  be  very  diffi- 
cult to  prevent  these  people  coming  and  staying,  even 
if  we  wished  to  do  so,  which  at  present  we  do  not, 
as  we  have  not  yet  got  an  hospital  staff  to  attend  to 
the  many  needs  of  the  inmates.  The  question  of 
food  is  rather  a  troublesome  one,  and  I  think  we 
will  soon  have  to  get  a  regular  hospital  kitchen  and 
cooks.  At  present  any  food  except  the  ordinary 
native  food  (which  the  relatives,  if  there  are  any, 
provide)  has  to  come  from  our  own  tables,  and  our 
own  house-boys  have  decided  and  very  proper  objec- 
tions to  all  the  soup  being  portioned  to  these  sick 
people,  and  all  the  fowls  to  those.  We  are  exceedingly 
anxious  to  encourage  sick  people  to  come  and  stay 
here,  as  it  is  by  far  the  best,  and  indeed  the  only 
really  good,  method  of  treatment.  AVe  are  succeeding 
in  our  endeavour  beyond  our  hope,  and  —  what  is 
serious — sometimes  beyond  our  means. 

"  The  first  patient  in  our  new  hospital  was  a  Man- 
dala  boy.  A  gun  which  he  was  loading  went  off  and 
shattered  his  hand  terribly.  We  had  to  amputate  half 
his  hand,  but  hope  to  save  a  useful  thumb  and  fore- 
finger. He  is  just  a  boy,  perhaps  eighteen  years  old. 
For  the  first  two  or  three  days  he  did  nothing  but 
sit  rocking  himself  to  and  fro,  crying  for  his  mother. 
Now  his  mother  has  come,  and  he  is  happy." 


I  wish  I  could  take  you  round  and  show  you  some 
of  his  cases,  A  curious  variety  you  would  find  them 
— wounds,  bites,  burns,  sores,  besides  diseases  of  all 
kinds.  One  case  which  he  had  very  early  on  his 
hands  —  before  he  got  his  hospital  —  had  a  peculiar 
interest  at  the  time,  and  has  a  still  more  pathetic 
interest  now.  At  the  very  time  when  all  Europe  was 
thrilled  with  interest  as  the  most  eminent  surgeons 
performed  tracheotomy  on  the  Emperor  of  Germany, 
Dr.  Bowie  was  performing  the  same  operation  on  a 
poor  black  African  woman  at  Blantyre,  and  watching 
with  no  less  solicitude  the  results  of  the  operation. 
She  had  all  but  died  from  a  cancerous  growth  in  the 
throat,  when  the  doctor  said  that  if  this  were  tried 
she  might  probably  live  for  a  year  or  so  longer,  and 
both  she  and  her  friends  were  willing  that  it  should 
be  done  —  no  small  tribute  to  their  confidence  iu 
the  doctor,  for  the  African  sorely  dreads  the  knife. 
With  deft  and  skilful  hand  the  operation  was  per- 
formed and  the  tube  inserted.  Soon  strength  returned, 
and  for  twelve  months  the  poor  old  woman  went  about 
breathing  through  the  tube,  a  marvel  to  herself  and 
to  every  one  else.  Lut  a  year  soon  sped,  the  num- 
bered months  came  to  an  end,  and  we  find  the 
doctor  writing : — 

"  I  very  much  fear  our  old  tracheotomy  patient  will 
not  live  long.  It  is  now  just  about  a  year  since  the 
operation  was  performed,  and  until  the  last  fortnight 
or  three  weeks  the  old  woman  was  very  comfortable 

DR.  JOHN  DO]VIE.  93 

and  well,  and  able  to  go  about  and  find  for  herself.  .  .  . 
But  now  she  is  unable  to  do  anything — even  to  walk. 
She  lies  day  and  night  on  a  mat  in  the  old  store,  with 
all  her  worldly  goods  arranged  around  her.  These 
consist  of,  first  and  foremost,  her  fire,  which  out  here 
is  very  often  a  distinct  possession.  .  .  .  Around  the 
fire  are  placed  her  other  goods,  a  native  earthenware 
pot  full  of  water,  with,  floating  on  the  top  of  it,  her 
drinking-cup,  a  small  hollowed-out  gourd,  and  a  small 
basket  in  which  she  keeps  the  food  she  is  unable  to  eat. 
"  To  a  casual  observer  our  old  patient  would  appear 
a  most  wretched,  dirty,  ugly  creature.  She  is  old, 
shrivelled,  and  wrinkled,  her  face  deformed  by  the  once 
ornamental  scars,  her  upper  lip  huge  and  pendulous, 
and  more  disfigured  by  the  hole  in  which,  before  her 
operation,  she  carried  a  large  pelele  ring.  In  addition 
she  has  a  cataract  in  her  left  eye,  and  when  she  looks 
up  to  you  the  greyish-green  colour  of  the  pupil  gives 
her  almost  an  uncanny  look.  And  yet  beneath  all  this 
there  is  a  fine  human  being,  and  even  her  face  becomes 
noble  to  those  who  have  watched  her  in  her  long 
illness.  She  has  struggled  bravely  on,  never  complain- 
ing, and  always  most  grateful  for  any  attention  paid 
her.  Now,  poor  woman !  she  is  very  weak  and  tired, 
and  has  quite  lost  heart.  The  other  morning,  when 
Nacho  and  I  were  down  cleaning  her  tracheotomy  tube 
(this  has,  of  course,  to  be  done  daily),  she  managed  to 
whisper  to  me,  '  Come  to  me  in  the  forenoon ;  I  want 
to  say  something  to  you.'     I  asked,  '  Can't  you  say  it 


now  ? '  '  Too  many  people,'  she  said.  There  were  two 
or  three  other  patients  close  by.  We  came  back  again 
at  the  time  she  wanted,  and  the  old  woman  whispered 
to  me,  '  I.  am  very  tired ;  will  you  give  me  some 
medicine  to  make  me  die  ?'  It  is  very  sad  to  see  her 
lying  patiently  serving  her  time,  especially  as  nothing 
can  be  done  to  ease  her  in  any  way.  She  has  plenty 
of  food,  stewed  fowls,  brandy,  milk,  and  eggs,  but  she 
cannot  manage  to  eat  much.  Her  swallowing  is  very 
difficult,  I  fear  from  extension  of  the  cancer." 

This  was  the  way  he  thought  of  his  patients.  So  I 
might  take  you  to  many  a  one  to  whom  he  was  as 
an  angel  of  mercy  sent  from  God, — to  many  a  one  who, 
humanly  speaking,  owed  his  or  her  life  to  the  skill 
and  devotion  of  the  brave  young  doctor  during  the 
three  years  and  a  half  in  which  he  was  permitted  to 
serve  Africa. 

And  did  he  ever  regret  the  change  to  all  this  from 
his  London  practice  ?  Let  him  answer  for  himself. 
Writing  to  a  relative,  he  says : — 

"Do  I  regret  leaving  my  cosy  house  in  London,  and 
my  comfortable,  well-fed  patients,  to  take  to  a  Central 
African  house  and  unclothed,  poorly  fed  blacks?  To 
which  I  make  answer  in  Scotch  fashion  by  putting 
another  question,  '  Does  a  slave  regret  getting  his 
freedom  and  yearn  for  his  chains  once  more  ? '  If  he 
does,  then  he  is  not  free ;  he  is  still  a  slave  in  all  but 
name.  What  has  my  change  brought  me  ?  I  don't 
know   how  much ;    but    it   has   taught  me  that   '  our 

DR.  JOHN  BOWIE.  95 

America  is  here,  or  nowhere ; '  that  one  can  do  God's 
work  anywhere,  provided  one  has  the  eye  to  see  and 
the  heart  to  feel — anywhere,  I  had  almost  said,  better 
than  in  a  comfortable  London  practice ! " 

Oh,  how  worthless  the  old  had  become  after  he  had 
tasted  the  joy  of  the  new  ! 

But  I  must  hasten  on,  and  I  hardly  know  how  to 
tell  the  story  of  the  last  days  of  that  noble  life.  A 
terrible  visitation  of  influenza  had  swept  over  the 
Mission  both  in  Blantyre  itself  and  in  the  villages 
around ;  natives  and  Europeans  alike  were  stricken, 
and  more  than  twenty  deaths  resulted  within  a  radius 
of  four  or  five  miles.  Every  one  of  the  Mission  staff 
with  one  exception  was  laid  down,  and  very  heavy  work 
fell  to  the  doctor.  By  day  in  the  Mission  itself  the 
natives  lay  on  their  mats  spread  on  the  grass  in  the 
open  air  under  the  trees,  and  as  he  walked  through 
them,  stooping  to  minister  to  them  one  by  one,  he 
felt,  he  said,  like  one  walking  over  a  field  of  battle. 
The  strain  upon  him,  both  of  fatigue  and  anxiety,  was 
very  great,  for  he  carried  the  burden  of  all  these 
patients  on  his  heart,  and  was  unremitting  in  his 
attention  to  them.  By-and-by  he  was  himself  seized 
with  influenza,  and  had  a  very  sharp  attack.  It 
pulled  him  down  greatly,  and  he  never  got  up  his 
strength  again.  In  a  letter  written  home  when  he 
was  just  recovering  he  said  : — "  We  are  all  needing 
rest  and  change, — the  very  things  we  cannot  get." 

It  was  just  on  the  back  of  this  that  there  came  the 


awful  ten  days.  One  day  Mrs.  Henderson's  little  chil  1 
was  ailing,  and  Dr.  Bowie  was  asked  to  come  and  see 
him.  When  he  came,  he  found  the  little  fellow  in  his 
bath  crowing  merrily.  He  laughed  and  said,  "  There's 
not  much  the  matter  with  you,  old  boy."  But  a  little 
later  he  came  back  to  examine  him.  In  the  course  of 
the  examination  he  looked  into  the  child's  mouth,  and 
in  a  moment  there  was  a  change.  At  the  sight  which 
he  saw  there,  a  shadow  deepened  on  the  doctor's  grave 
face, —  a  shadow  that  never  lifted,  a  look  that  never 
passed  away  till  the  time  came  when  for  himself,  too, 
as  well  as  for  the  child,  that  day  broke  when  all 
shadows  flee  away.  Diphtheria  was  what  he  saw 
— and  of  a  very  malignant  type.  All  the  weary 
hours  of  that  night  he  sat  by  his  patient.  Hour  after 
hour  passed,  and  the  little  sufferer  grew  worse  till 
his  sufferings  became  dreadful  to  see.  By  midnight 
the  doctor  saw  that  tracheotomy  would  be  necessary 
to  give  even  a  chance  for  life,  and  he  determined 
to  perform  it  whenever  daylight  came.  Oh,  how  the 
hearts  of  these  weary  watchers  wished  for  the  day ! 
Dawn  came  at  last,  and  the  operation  was  performed. 
The  membrane  was  far  down  in  the  throat,  and  with 
terrible  determination  the  doctor  sucked  the  tube  again 
and  yet  again.  The  instant  sense  of  relief  and  the 
child's  grateful,  restful  look  were  touching  to  behold. 
But  to  the  doctor  ?  Ah !  to  him  this  was  the  breathing 
of  death.  Well  did  he  know  what  it  meant.  None 
knew  better  than  he  the  risk  he  was  running.     It  wa.-j 

DR.  JOHN  BOWIE.  97 

not  the  first  time  he  had  taken  his  life  in  his  hand 
thus.  More  than  once  before  he  had  done  the  same 
both  for  black  patient  and  white.  He  wasn't  the 
man  to  consider  himself,  or  to  calculate  what  risk  he 
ran  if  he  could  save  a  life.  He  did  now  just  what  he 
had  done  when  the  call  came  to  give  himself  to  Africa 
at  the  first.  He  fearlessly  did  the  duty  God  gave  him 
to  do,  and  left  the  result  with  God.  The  relief  which 
the  operation  brought  was  great,  but  only  temporary. 
The  membrane  was  too  far  down,  and  only  for 
twelve  short  hours  was  the  little  life  prolonged.  At 
five  o'clock  the  next  afternoon  the  child  died.  Hardly 
was  the  funeral  over,  the  nest  morning,  when  Mrs. 
Henderson  lay  down,  worn  out  with  fatigue  and  grief. 
Next  day  (Friday)  the  doctor  knew  that  she  had  diph- 
theria, and  the  next  he  had  it  himself.  Can  you  think 
of  the  consternation  which  strikes  a  household  here 
when  diphtheria  comes  to  it  ?  What  must  it  have  been 
to  the  Blantyre  household  there !  But  in  the  midst  of 
the  excitement  and  dread,  one  man  is  calm,  deliberate, 
cool.  It  is  Dr.  Bowie.  From  his  bed  he  gives  orders  to 
send  men  away  to  Mount  Milanje  (four  days'  journey) 
for  Dr.  W.  A.  Scott ;  to  send  others  to  Domasi  (sixty 
miles)  for  Dr.  Henry  Scott.  Then  he  gives  all  needed 
directions  as  to  what  should  be  done  by  everybody. 
Piegularly  from  time  to  time  he  sent  to  hear  how  his 
sister  was,  and  when  he  heard  that  she  was  worse  he 
rose  from  his  bed  and  went  to  see  her  and  do  for  her 
whatever  could  be  done. 


Sunday  came, — and  what  a  Sunday  it  must  have  been 
in  that  little  stricken  community !  Mrs.  Henderson 
was  much  worse,  and  the  doctor's  strength  was  greatly 
reduced,  but  again  he  made  them  help  him  across 
from  his  house  to  the  Manse,  that  he  might  see 
her ;  and  so  the  weary  hours  dragged  on.  Monday 
morning  came,  but  its  daylight  brought  no  cheer. 
Her  suflFerings  had  now  become  terrible,  and  again  in 
tracheotomy  alone  lay  the  one  hope  of  life.  Dr.  Harry 
Scott  had  arrived  from  Domasi  at  four  o'clock  that 
morning.  He  was  drenched  and  weary  with  his  walk 
of  more  than  sixty  miles  in  fearful  rain,  which  made 
the  journey  through  the  long  grass,  across  the  swollen 
streams  and  over  Mount  Ndirande,  almost  impossible, 
but  he  was  brave  and  ready.  He  had  never,  however, 
performed  that  operation,  and  in  this  case  there  were 
complications,  making  it  more  than  usually  difficult 
even  for  the  most  experienced  surgeon,  and  Dr.  Bowie 
would  not  allow  him  to  do  it.  Bracing  himself  for  the 
effort,  he  made  them  carry  him  from  his  own  dying-bed 
to  the  bedside  of  his  dying  sister,  and  there,  with  clear 
head  and  firm  hand,  he  performed  the  operation  with 
all  his  own  skill  and  care,  giving  immediate  and 
immense  relief.  It  seems  so  easy  to  tell  all  this,  but 
so  hard  to  realise  it.  We  read  many  a  wondrous  story 
of  hero  and  martyr,  but  surely  seldom  have  we  seen 
anything  finer  and  nobler  than  the  dying  surgeon, 
careless  of  life,  stepping  forth  to  fight  death  on  his  own 
ground.     For  an  hour  or  two  a  gleam  of  hope  shone 

DR.  JOHN  BOWIE.  99 

through  the  cloud,  and  it  almost  seemed  as  if  the 
daring  deed  were  to  be  rewarded  by  victory  on  that 
desperate  field.  But  the  hope  was  short-lived,  for  in 
the  afternoon  a  change  for  the  worse  came.  After  the 
operation  the  doctor  had  been  compelled  to  go  home 
to  bed,  but  by  six  o'clock  she  had  grown  much  worse, 
and  sent  a  message  begging  him  to  come  to  her. 
Though  faint  and  ill  he  went  at  once,  and  from  that 
time  he  watched  beside  her  till  the  end  came.  She 
was  quite  conscious,  and  knew  that  she  was  dying,  but 
she  could  not  speak.  They  brought  her  a  slate,  and 
she  wrote  on  it  dying  messages  to  loved  ones  far  away. 
Very  lovingly  "  Jack "  took  them  from  her  one  by  one 
as  they  were  rubbed  from  the  slate  to  make  room  for 
others.  With  a  tenderness  which  those  who  were 
present  will  never  forget,  he  spoke  in  her  dying  ear 
beautiful  words  of  comfort  for  the  darkness  of  the 
valley  through  which  he  well  knew  they  were  both 
passing.  And  all  the  time  he  never  once  thought  of 
himself;  his  whole  anxiety  was  for  her. 

What  a  picture  of  life  and  love  it  is  that  presents 
itself  to  us  as  we  look  into  that  African  home !  We 
see  the  brother  and  the  sisters, — those  children  that 
long  ago  played  together  in  the  old  Edinburgh 
home, — and  we  see  what  God  and  life  and  grace 
have  made  them.  What  courage, — what  affection, — 
what  Christian  confidence, — what  triumph  over  the 
fear  of  death !  Oh  !  think  of  it,  Reader,  and  learn 
to  look  reverently  on  the  little  children  that  are  play- 


ing  in  the  homes  of  to-day  as  you  wonder  what  that 
life  may  be  to  which  God  is  calling  them. 

With  Tuesday  morning  the  struggle  was  over.  Poor 
Harriet  passed  from  her  sufferings  to  her  rest,  and  brave 
Jack  went  back  to  that  bed  from  which,  three  short  days 
after,  he  was  to  follow  her  home.  She  had  left  her 
messages  for  home  with  him,  but  not  to  the  earthly  but 
to  the  heavenly  home  did  he  carry  them.  He  had  been 
growing  steadily  worse,  and  at  one  time  it  seemed  as 
if  they  would  have  to  operate  on  him  too,  but  the 
membrane  did  not  extend  downwards  so  as  to  implicate 
his  breathing,  and  it  was  not  necessary.  His  strength, 
however,  rapidly  gave  way,  and  on  Friday  morning 
the  brave  doctor,  whose  short  life  in  Africa  had  been 
one  record  of  devoted  service,  passed  away. 

If  ever  a  man's  life  breathed  the  spirit  of  Christ,  his 
had  done  it ;  and  if  ever  a  man  died  a  martyr's  brave 
death,  he  did.  The  whole  community  had  been  un- 
speakably distressed  before,  but  when  the  tidings  were 
told  that  the  beloved  doctor  was  no  more,  all  felt  as  if 
their  cup  of  sorrow  was  full.  The  news  that  Dr.  Bowie 
was  ill  had  spread  like  wildfire  through  the  native 
villages  around,  and  when  word  followed  that  he 
was  dead,  a  feeling  almost  of  dismay  spread  through 
the  community.  They  laid  him  to  sleep  in  that  little 
Blantyre  cemetery,  the  very  dust  of  which  is  dear  to 
so  many  whose  eyes  have  never  seen  it.  The  natives 
had  come  and  asked — touching  request ! — that  they 
might  be  allowed  to  dig  his  grave.     Never  had  there 

DR.  JOHN  BOWIE.  lol 

been  in  that  quiet  spot  such  a  gathering  as  assembled 
there  to  lay  hira  to  his  rest,  and  there  was  not,  we 
are  told,  a  dry  eye  in  the  mourning  crowd.  Yet 
around  that  grave  they  sang.  With  trembling  voices, 
choked  by  many  a  sob,  they  sang  his  own  favourite 
hymn  : — 

"  Thou  to  whom  the  sick  and  dying 

Ever  came,  nor  came  in  vain, 
Still  with  healing  word  replying 

To  the  wearied  cry  of  pain. 
Hear  us,  Jesus,  as  we  meet. 
Suppliants  at  Thy  mercy -seat." 

I  shall  not  attempt  to  characterise  such  a  life  or  to 
estimate  its  noble  work.  We  bow  before  it  in  ad- 
miration and  awe.  Better  that  we  should  quietly  still 
our  hearts  to  listen  while  God  Himself  speaks  to  us 
from  it.  Like  the  box  of  ointment  broken  whose 
odour  filled  the  house,  such  lives  poured  out  fill  the 
land  with  fragrance  and  are  for  the  healing  of  its  life. 

Of  the  sorrow  in  his  home  I  shall  not  speak,  or  of 
the  young  wife  who  went  forth  so  bravely,  returning  to 
her  native  land  a  widow,  with  her  little  child  orphaned 
so  early.  The  devoted  affection  with  which  the  Euro- 
pean community  outside  the  Mission  regarded  him 
was  shown  by  an  immediate  request  for  permission  to 
place  in  the  beautiful  new  church  a  series  of  stained- 
glass  windows  in  memory  of  their  beloved  physician, 
to  whom  they  owed  so  much,  and  whom  they  had 
loved  so  well. 


Very  deep  and  solemn,  too,  was  the  impression 
which  his  death  made  on  the  native  mind,  and  tokens 
are  not  awanting  already  that  God  used  that  martyr 
death  to  perfect  and  ripen  seeds  which  he  had  sown 
during  his  life.  "  Except  a  corn  of  seed  fall  into  the 
f,n'ound  and  die,  it  abideth  alone ;  but  if  it  die,  it 
bringeth  forth  much  fruit." 


Bol&ert  Clclantr, 





It  is  no  small  thing  to  say  of  Robert  CI  eland  that  lie 
is  not  unworthy  to  be  named  along  with  two  such  men 
as  Henry  Henderson  and  John  Bowie.  He  was  one 
with  them  in  spirit,  and  he  was  not  behind  them  in 
courage  and  devotion.  All  three  had  been  students 
of  Edinburgh  University,  Cleland  being  the  last  to 
go  forth  and  the  first  to  be  called  home.  His  career 
was  the  shortest  of  the  three,  but  it  was  long  enough 
to  show  how  deeply  "  Africa  "  was  written  on  his  heart, 
and  it  is  not  unfitting  that  with  the  pioneer  missionary 
who  opened  the  way,  and  the  medical  missionary  who 
soothed  the  sufferings  and  healed  the  sickness  of  the 
African  people,  we  should  link  the  ordained  minister 
of  Jesus  Christ  who  went  forth  there  to  teach  and  to 
preach  the  glorious  Gospel  of  the  blessed  God. 

It  was  neither  from  the  beauties  of  a  rural  parish 
nor  from  the  culture  of  city  life  that  God  called  this 
servant.  He  came  forth  to  the  work  of  God  from 
a  humble  home  amidst  the  smoke  and  dust  and 
noise  of  Scotland's  "  Black  Country."  Born  in  Coat- 
bridge in  1857,  ^Q  received  his  early  education  first 


at  Dundyvan,  and  tlien  at  Gartsherrie  Academy  there. 
After  leaving  school,  he  served  his  apprenticeship  as 
an  engineer  in  one  of  the  large  engineering  works  of 
which  there  are  so  many  in  that  neighbourhood.  As 
a  boy  he  was  quiet,  painstaking,  and  in  everything 
very  conscientious.  I  can  remember  the  foreman  under 
whom  he  served  part  of  "his  time"  speaking  to  me 
years  ago  of  the  quiet,  industrious  lad  who  never 
seemed  to  care  for  sporting  with  the  other  apprentices, 
but  whose  mind  seemed  to  be  always  on  his  work, 
always  anxious  to  understand  everything  about  it. 
Good  man !  little  did  he  know  where  the  lad's  mind 
really  was.  That  wish  to  understand  everything,  too, 
doubtless  made  him  the  "handy"  man  he  was  after- 
wards, able  to  put  his  hand  to  anything — to  clean  a 
watch  or  repair  an  engine  or  construct  a  bridge, — an 
invaluable  gift  for  such  work  as  lay  before  him.  In  the 
winter  evenings  he  attended  the  Gartsherrie  science 
classes,  where  he  gained  certificates  of  the  Science  and 
Art  Department  for  mathematics,  natural  philosophy, 
chemistry,  and  other  branches  of  science,  and  this 
training  and  the  possession  of  these  certificates  also 
pi'oved  helpful  to  him  in  his  future  career. 

It  was  in  his  twenty-first  year  that  he  finally 
decided  to  give  himself  to  the  mission-field.  Like 
Isaiah,  he  was  worshipping  in  the  House  of  God 
when  the  call  came  to  him.  It  was  in  the  parish 
church  of  Garturk,  on  a  Sunday  in  the  late  autumn 
of   1878,  and  the  writer,  then  a  young  minister,  was 


making  his  first  missionary  appeal  to  tlie  congregation 
over  which  he  had  been  set  only  a  few  months  before. 
Lookinor  round  the  congregation,  which  included  a 
large  number  of  young  men,  the  preacher  asked, 
"Why  should  not  a  congregation  like  this  give  not 
only  of  its  means  but  of  its  men  to  the  mission-field  ? " 
Very  earnest  was  the  look  that  then  shone  in  Cleland's 
face.  It  was  as  if  his  very  soul  was  gazing  out  of  those 
deep,  dark  eyes  of  his.  He  seemed  to  hear  the  voice 
of  God  saying,  "  Whom  shall  I  send  ?  and  who  will 
go  for  us  ? '"  and  reverently  he  answered,  in  his  heart, 
"  Here  am  I !  Send  me."  From  that  hour  he  was 
consecrated  to  God  and  to  Africa.  Much  and  often 
did  he  pray  over  it,  but  from  that  decision  he  never 
swerved  or  turned  back.  With  characteristic  reticence 
he  buried  his  secret  in  his  bosom  for  months.  No 
one  heard  from  him  one  single  word  telling  of  the 
new  purpose  that  filled  his  soul,  but  all  the  time  he 
was  busy  preparing  for  the  work  to  which  he  had 
devoted  himself.  He  determined  to  qualify  himself 
for  the  position  of  an  Ordained  Minister,  and  his 
first  step  was  to  begin  toiling  away  quietly  by  him- 
self at  his  Latin  and  Greek,  His  fellow- workmen 
used  afterwards  to  tell  how  he  brought  his  Greek 
Grammar  with  him  to  his  work,  and  how,  when  the 
dinner -hour  came  and  the  others  went  home  to 
dinner,  he  would  sit  in  a  corner  of  the  shed  eating 
his  "piece"  and  getting  up  his  Greek  verbs.  At 
length  the  time  came  when  his  secret  must  come  out. 


or  so  much  of  it,  at  least.  One  day  lie  called  for  me 
and,  to  my  surprise,  asked  if  I  would  examine  him  in 
Latin  and  Greek  to  see  whether  I  thought  him  iit.  for 
entering  college.  As  was  to  be  expected,  his  know- 
ledge of  these  subjects  was  compai'atively  meagre,  but 
the  offer  of  a  little  "coaching"  during  the  week  or  two 
that  remained  ere  the  opening  of  the  college  session 
was  gratefully  accepted,  and  the  progress  of  tbese  few 
weeks  showed  what  a  power  of  work  he  possessed. 

In  due  time  he  entered  the  University  of  Edin- 
burgh, and  there,  in  face  of  difficulties  that  would  have 
daunted  a  less  determined  spirit,  he  worked  his  way 
through  the  full  seven  years  of  a  university  course, 
helping  at  the  same  time  to  maintain  himself  by  teach- 
ing. He  worked  very  hard,  studying  late  and  early. 
No  one  knew  how  much  it  cost  him  to  make  up  all 
the  leeway  of  those  years,  and  to  keep  up  with  class- 
fellows  who  had  been  taught  and  drilled  in  classics 
at  school  and  then  gone  straight  to  college.  In  all 
his  classes  he  acquitted  himself  creditably,  gaining 
the  approval  of  his  professors  and  the  respect  and 
regard  of  his  fellow-students.  For  a  short  period 
after  his  first  college  session  was  ended  he  went  to 
Lancaster.  Here  it  was  that  his  Science  and  Art 
Department  certificates  stood  him  in  stead,  for  it  was 
by  the  help  of  these  that  he  obtained  an  appointment 
as  a  teacher  of  science  in  Lancaster  Commercial  School. 
He  greatly  enjoyed  his  time  there,  and  in  after-years 
he  looked  back  gratefully  to  the  experience  he  had 


gained  while  thus  engaged,  and  to  the  friendships 
whicb  he  had  formed  there.  In  due  time  he  returned 
to  college  and  resumed  his  hard  and  steady  work. 
During  several  winters  he  taught  for  some  hours 
every  evening  the  boys  residing  in  the  Home  of  the 
Edinburgh  Industrial  Brigade.  It  was  congenial  work, 
but  it  was  very  hard.  The  big  lads,  sometimes  rough, 
though  not  unkindly,  felt  the  influence  of  his  strong 
personality  and  devotion  to  them,  and  they  liked  him. 
But  it  was  no  light  thing  to  keep  them  occupied  and 
busy  with  their  work  through  a  whole  winter  evening, 
and  when  at  ten  o'clock  he  left  them  and  walked 
wearily  home  to  his  lodgings,  he  was  often  much 
more  fit  for  going  to  bed  than  for  sitting  down,  as 
he  regularly  did,  to  pore  over  his  own  studies  till  the 
small  hours  of  the  morning.  Yet  he  never  flinched, 
and  the  thought  of  giving  it  up  or  turning  back  never 
once  crossed  his  mind.  In  the  summer  of  1886  he 
went  for  some  months  to  be  missionary  at  Achnacarry, 
in  Lochaber,  under  the  late  Dr.  Archibald  Clark  of 
Kilmallie,  and  kindly  recollections  of  him  still  linger 
among  the  people  there.  When  visiting  in  that 
locality  recently,  I  was  struck  with  the  affectionate 
way  in  which  some  of  the  people  I  met  still  spoke 
of  him.  The  tremble  in  the  voice  and  the  eyes 
that  filled  as  they  spoke  told  of  the  strong  tie  with 
which  there,  as  everywhere,  he  seemed  to  attach  people 
to  him.  He  was  very  happy  in  his  work  in  Lochaber. 
There  was  something  about  the  great  hills  and  the 


quiet  glens  that  appealed  to  him,  and  he  loved  tramp- 
ing about  among  them — those  great  long  walks  he  had 
to  take  preaching  and  visiting  his  people.  It  was  like 
a  foretaste  of  his  future  work,  and  left  its  impres- 
sion upon  him.  Twelve  months  later,  when,  in  his 
first  letter  home,  he  was  describing  his  approacli  to 
Blantyre,  he  wrote : — "  For  miles  we  were  passing 
through  a  steep,  hilly  country,  prettily  wooded,  so 
like  Clunes  Hill  in  Lochaber  that  sometimes  T  could 
almost  believe  that  time  was  a  year  rolled  back." 

All  this  time  he  was  dreaming  of  Africa  with  an 
enthusiasm  that  was  almost  a  passion.  Eagerly  he 
read  every  book  that  could  give  him  information 
about  it.  But  Livingstone  was  his  great  ideal.  More 
than  one  pilgrimage  did  he  make  from  his  home  at 
Old  Monkland  over  to  Blantyre  to  visit  the  birthplace 
of  his  hero  and  see  the  mills  where  he  had  worked  as 
a  boy  and  the  scenes  amidst  which  he  had  been  reared. 
That  a  double  portion  of  that  master's  spirit  might 
rest  upon  him  was  the  constant  prayer  of  his  eager 
youthful  heart.  Every  step  of  the  great  traveller's 
journeys  through  the  Dark  Continent  he  had  traced 
again  and  again,  and  every  station  in  the  African 
mission-field  he  knew.  At  that  time  it  seemed  as 
if  there  was  no  prospect  of  his  being  sent  to  Africa 
by  his  own  Church.  The  funds  at  the  disposal  of 
the  Foreign  Mission  Committee,  and  responsibilities 
already  resting  upon  them,  greater  than  they  could 
meet,  forbade  their  increasing  the  staff  of  missionaries 


in  the  African  field;  but  he  laboured  on  in  his  pre- 
paration, assured  that  God  would  open  a  way  for  him 
when  the  time  came  that  he  was  ready  to  go.  And  so 
He  did.  Cleland's  last  session  at  college  was  within 
a  few  weeks  of  being  ended  when  an  unexpected 
call  came  for  a  missionary  to  go  to  Africa.  The 
Eev.  David  Clement  Scott,  head  of  the  Blantyre 
Mission,  had  been  home  on  furlough  after  five  years  of 
work  in  Africa,  and  by  his  fervid  enthusiasm  and 
stirring  words  had  kindled  a  flame  of  sympathy  for 
African  Missions  in  many  hearts.  One  point  which 
he  had  repeatedly  and  strongly  urged  was  the  im- 
portance of  strengthening  the  Mission  by  opening  a 
new  station  at  Mount  Milan je,  an  important  centre 
and  the  residence  of  a  powerful  chief,  about  four  days' 
journey  from  Blanytre.  The  old  difficulty,  however — 
want  of  money — stood  in  the  way,  and  Mr.  Scott,  at 
the  close  of  his  furlough,  had  to  sail  again  for  Africa 
without  having  obtained  the  additional  missionary 
he  desired.  His  words  of  appeal,  however,  remained 
behind  him  like  seeds  taking  root  in  Christian  hearts, 
and  long  before  he  reached  Blantyre  their  fruit  began 
to  appear.  A  few  friends  in  the  congregation  of  St. 
George's  Church,  Edinburgh,  impressed  by  the  necessity 
and  the  opportunity,  offered  to  bear  the  expense  of 
sending  out  a  missionary  if  one  could  be  sent  at  once. 

Shortly  after  this^  there  was  a  gathering  of  students 
in  the  rooms  of  the  Church,  22  Queen  Street,  and 
Dr    Scott,  minister  of  St.  George's,  who  was  present 


clianced  in  the  most  casual  way  to  meet  Cleland  among 
others,  and  made  his  acquaintance.  It  was  not  long 
before  he  discovered  where  the  lad's  heart  was  and 
what  was  the  desire  of  his  life.  Subsequent  inquiries 
abundantly  satisfied  him  that  here  was  just  the  kind  of 
man  that  was  needed  for  Milanje,  and  for  which  he  and 
his  friends  were  looking.  The  result  was,  that,  after 
careful  consideration  by  the  Foreign  Mission  Committee, 
the  appointment  was  offered  to  Cleland.  Surely  no 
one  called  to  leave  his  native  land  ever  received  the 
summons  with  more  eager  joy.  He  wrote  to  his  mother 
a  characteristic  letter,  and  on  getting  back  her  willing 
consent, — written  with  characteristic  solemnity  and 
reverence, — he  accepted  the  appointment.  One  hardly 
knows  whether  to  admire  more  the  mother  lovingly 
yielding  her  son  to  God  for  such  work,  or  the  son 
going  forth  in  such  a  spirit.  "  Of  course,  I  am  grate- 
ful for  the  appointment,"  he  wrote  to  the  Secretary 
of  the  Foreign  Mission  Committee,  "  and  I  trust  that  a 
devoted  life  may  reveal  my  sincerity  of  heart  better  than 
any  mere  words  can  do."  He  was  licensed  to  preach 
the  Gospel  by  the  Presbytery  of  Edinburgh  in  April 
1887,  and  on  the  29th  May  following  he  was  ordained 
a  Missionary  to  Africa  in  St.  George's  Church,  Edin- 
burgh. It  was  during  the  sittings  of  the  General 
Assembly,  and  there  was  a  crowded  congregation, 
among  whom  were  many  ministers  and  others  from  all 
parts  of  the  country.  To  him,  with  his  shrinking,  sensi- 
tive nature,  it  was  a  terribly  trying  occasion,     "  I  would 


rather  cross  Africa,"  he  wrote  to  a  friend,  "  than  face  the 
awful  ordeal.  It  seems  a  shame  to  put  a  poor  broken- 
down  mortal  through  such  a  public  trial,  but  I  sup- 
pose the  feelings  of  the  one  must  be  sacrificed  that 
those  of  the  many  may  be  touched.  This  seems  to 
be  the  law  of  all  true  life."  Certainly,  as  he  stood 
there  the  centre  of  the  great  gathering,  so  pale  and 
earnest-looking,  and  yet  so  calm  and  self-possessed, 
with  the  gentle  light  shining  in  his  dark  eye,  there  was 
something  that  drew  the  sympathies  of  all  hearts  to 
him,  and  a  link  of  personal  sympathy  was  forged  which 
made  many  a  one  watch  with  prayerful  interest  the  steps 
of  his  subsequent  career.  At  the  close  of  the  service 
hundreds  thronged  round  him  eager  to  shake  hands 
with  the  young  missionary  and  bid  him  "  God-speed," 
among  them  being  a  number  of  boys  and  girls,  for 
each  of  whom  he  had  a  personal  word,  which  no  doubt 
they  would  long  remember.  His  mother  was  prevented 
by  illness  from  going  to  Edinburgh  to  be  present  at 
his  ordination,  and  he  had  only  a  few  days  in  which 
to  go  home  to  Old  Monkland  and  see  her  before  he 
left.  Busy  days  they  were,  full  of  preparations  and 
hurried  farewells  to  old  friends  and  companions.  Then 
he  paid  a  flying  visit  to  Leeds  on  his  way  south, — 
to  say  "  good-bye  "  to  a  brother  who  was  there, — and 
then  on  to  London,  all  within  the  week.  Here,  too, 
he  had  a  busy  time — so  many  places  to  go  and  so 
many  things  to  be  got,  so  many  instructions  to  be 
attended  to,  and  withal  so  little  time  to  think,  so  little 


opportunity  for  the  pent-up  fountain  of  feeling  to 
find  outlet.  When  he  went  on  board  the  lioslin  Castle 
he  met  another  young  missionary  also  on  his  way  to 
his  first  work  in  the  African  field,  Mr.  W.  Bell,  an 
engineer,  who  was  going  out  to  Mandala  in  the  service 
of  the  African  Lakes  Company.  At  once  the  two 
took  to  each  other,  and  during  the  long  voyage  the 
companionship  and  communion  of  a  kindred  spirit  was 
very  helpful  to  both.  The  vessel  sailed  from  London 
on  the  9th  June.  I  was  one  of  those  who  stood  and 
saw  him  wave  his  last  farewell  as  the  Roslin  Castle 
steamed  out  of  the  dock,  and  a  bright  farewell  it  was, 
without  one  trace  of  sorrow  or  regret.  Even  in  that 
hour  of  parting  from  home  and  kindred,  a  bright  joy 
lit  his  face  at  the  thought  that  Africa  and  his  work 
there  for  God  were  now  so  near.  After  watching  till 
the  little  group  of  friends  on  the  pier-head  had  faded 
in  the  distance  behind,  the  two  young  missionaries  sat 
down  and  had  a  long,  earnest  talk  about  the  work 
to  which  they  were  going,  and  it  drew  them  very 
close  together,  that  talk.  Then  CI  eland  went  below 
to  write,  and  as  the  vessel  was  steaming  out  of  the 
Thames  he  wrote  to  his  most  intimate  college  friend, 
and  this  was  how  his  letter  began : — 

"  Bound  for  Africa  at  last ! — the  land  of  my  hopes, 
and,  I  trust,  sooner  or  later  (it  may  sound  strange), 
the  land  of  my  grave !  Oh,  to  live  for  it  and  die  for 
it!  and  to  lie  there  with  all  the  seeds  of  your  work 
growing  up  around  you  until  we  rise  to  meet  Him ! 


I  always  like  to  think  of  sleeping  my  long  sleep  in 
one  of  those  vast  solitudes — solitudes  in  which  the 
wail  of  the  slave  now  rises  to  heaven,  but  which  one 
day  will  be  a  garden  of  God." 

To  another  friend  he  wrote  at  the  same  time : — 
"It  is  not  simply  that  I  am  leaving  for  Africa. 
That  never  gives  me  a  thought — except  the  thought, 
Am  I  worthy  for  work  in  Africa?  Will  I  be  able, 
with  the  help  of  a  Higher  Hand,  to  do  something  for 
Africa?  .  .  .  May  He  who  sustains  all  and  is  over 
all  prepare  me,  soul  and  body,  for  the  Master's  use ! 
The  great  ideal  of  my  life  has  been  to  do  something 
for  Africa,  even  if  it  should  be  His  will  that  I  only 
take  possession  of  the  land  by  a  grave.  Oh  that,  in 
the  truest  sense,  I  may  be  consecrated  for  such  a  work  ! 
Africa  has  been  the  dream  of  my  past,  and  God's 
leading  encourages  me  to  believe  that  it  will  be  the 
joy  of  my  future.  It  is  among  my  dearest  wishes  to 
be  at  last  laid  in  its  solitudes  as  a  fingerpost  to  point 
the  way  for  others.  I  may  fall,  but  I  will  as  certainly 
rise  again." 

Sadly  prophetic  words !  How  we  read  them  now ! 
And  how  soon  have  they  been  fulfilled !  They  were 
not  like  the  ordinary  words  of  a  student  writing  to 
his  chums.  They  were  a  revelation  of  the  man  him- 
self, and  showed  what  manner  of  man  he  was  and 
in  what  spirit  he  went  forth.  "  Africa "  was  written 
on  his  heart.  To  do  something  for  poor  suffering 
Africa  was  the  dream  of  his  life,  and  no  sacrifice  did 


he  think  too  great,  not  even  life  itself,  if  he  could 
tliereby  help  in  healing  "  this  open  sore  of  the  world." 
Surely  it  was  God  who  implanted  that  burning  desire 
in  his  soul !  And  to  think  that  already  his  work  for 
Africa  is  over,  after  only  three  short  years  and  a  half! 
To-day  there  is  sorrow  in  the  old  home,  sorrow  among 
the  missionary  band  at  Blantyre,  sorrow  in  the  Church  ; 
but  Cleland  has  got  his  wish.  God  gave  him  his 
desire.  He  worked  for  Africa ;  he  died  for  Africa ;  and 
now  he  is  sleeping  his  long  sleep  in  one  of  those  vast 
solitudes,  and  the  seeds  of  his  work  are  growing,  and 
will  grow  up  around  him  until  the  day  when  he  shall 
rise  to  meet  Him. 

Of  his  voyage  out  little  need  be  said.  It,  too,  was 
like  other  voyages.  He  greatly  enjoyed  it,  and  was 
much  benefited  in  health  by  the  rest  and  the  sea-breezes. 
He  had  a  great  regard  for  the  captain  of  the  ship,  and 
spoke  most  gratefully  of  much  personal  kindness  which 
he  had  received  from  him.  Changing  his  steamer  at 
the  Cape,  he  found  sailing  up  the  east  coast  rather 
tiresome,  and  was  not  sorry  when  they  anchored  off 
Quilimane.  Here  the  first  shadow  fell  on  his  path. 
Tidings  met  him  there  of  the  death  of  poor  Mrs. 
]\rilwain,  who  had  died  at  Vicentis  as  the  Mission  party 
preceding  him  went  up  the  river.  After  two  days  at 
Quilimane,  he,  with  a  fellow-traveller  as  a  companion, 
started  at  midnight  in  a  small  boat  for  Vicentis,  on  the 
Zambezi,  under  conditions  which  reduced  the  comforts 
of  travelling  to  a   minimum.      "We  slept,"  he  says, 


"  in  a  little  grass  house  in  the  boat,  about  three  feet 
higrh  and  four  feet  wide.  At  our  heads  were  the  bare 
legs  of  the  native  steersman ;  at  our  feet  (mine  reached 
far  out  of  the  house)  were  the  rowers,  singing  their 
musical  chant  as  they  pulled  together  at  the  oars." 
Three  days  of  this,  followed  by  two  and  a  half  days' 
march  through  the  long  grass  under  a  burning  sun, 
brought  them  to  Vicentis,  the  heat  during  the  latter 
part  of  the  march  being  very  trying.  Writing  of  it 
long  after,  he  said  he  had  never  felt  it  so  hot  as  he 
had  done  that  day.  At  Vicentis  he  expected  to  get 
the  African  Lakes  Company's  steamer  up  the  River 
Shire,  but  on  his  arrival  he  learned  that  the  steamer 
would  not  arrive  for  a  week  yet.  Vicentis  is  a  cheer- 
less and  unhealthy  spot  on  the  river-bank,  and  very 
reluctantly  he  waited  there.  The  end  of  the  long 
week  came,  but  not  yet  the  steamer.  A  day  or  two 
later  came  Lieutenant  Wissmann,  who  had  just  crossed 
the  continent,  taking  four  years  to  the  task.  He  had 
passed  through  Blantyre,  and  gave  a  glowing  account 
of  the  place ;  but  he  also  brought  word  that  it  would 
probably  be  a  fortnight  yet  ere  the  steamer  could 
arrive.  Two  or  three  days  longer  Cleland  waited,  and 
then,  as  there  seemed  no  prospect  of  the  steamer,  he 
started  in  a  small  boat  with  a  crew  of  ten  men,  not 
one  of  whom  knew  a  word  of  English, — which,  he  says, 
not  unreasonably,  he  found  "  a  great  disadvantage ! " 
The  slow,  weary  progress  of  a  passage  up  the  river  in 
one  of  these  boats  has  often  been  described — the  high 


banks,  and  the  mud,  and  the  rank  smell  of  the  decay- 
ing vegetation,  and  the  heat,  and  the  discomforts  of 
the  boat,  and  the  irregularity  of  meals,  and  the  chance 
character  of  the  food  that  one  could  prepare  for  him- 
self when  the  men  stopped  to  cook  their  own  food. 
One  does  not  wonder  that,  in  the  midst  of  these,  the 
fever-tyrant  had  his  hand  on  him  before  he  reached 
Blantyre,  "  On  my  fourth  day  out,"  he  says,  "  I  had 
an  attack  of  what  /  call  'bilious  fever.'  It  lasted  a 
little  more  than  four  days,  after  which,  however,  I  was 
able  to  take  to  shooting  hippos."  Some  time  later, 
however,  he  writes : — "  My  health  here  (at  Blantyre) 
has  been  quite  as  good  as  at  home,  but  they  say  that 
my  '  bilious  attack '  on  the  river  was  fever,  and  in  the 
circumstances  I  dare  say  I  could  hardly  fail  to  have 
been  saturated  with  malaria." 

Eleven  days  after  leaving  Vicentis  he  reached 
Katungas,  the  landing-place  for  Blantyre,  from  which 
it  is  twenty- nine  miles  distant,  and  here  he  inserts  a 
characteristic  parenthesis : — "  By  the  way,  Katunga 
is  the  Makololo  chief,  and  was  one  of  Livingstone's 
'  boys.'  Strange  that  so  many  of  the  river  chiefs  were 
Livingstone's  men,  who  seem  to  have  risen  by  force  of 
character  to  what  they  are ! " 

The  march  up  the  road  from  Katungas  was  speedily 
accomplished,  and  about  9  p.m.  in  the  evening  he 
reached  Blantyre,  Mr.  Scott  and  Mr.  Duncan  having 
walked  out  some  miles  to  meet  him.  Like  all  who 
go  to  Blantyre,  he  fell  in  love  with  it  at  first  sight. 


His  expectations  of  it  were  high.  "  Every  white  man 
I  met  between  this  and  Quilimane,"  he  wrote,  "  had 
said  to  me,  '  But  wait  till  yon  see  Blantyre ! ' "  But, 
high  as  they  were,  these  expectations  were  more  than 
fulfilled,  and  he  wrote  home  a  glowing  description  of 
the  place,  the  work,  the  people,  and,  above  all,  of  his 
own  kindly  reception  among  them.  "  Even  the  little 
black  boys  and  girls,"  he  said,  "  came  peeping  into  the 
room  to  see  the  new  minister," 

"  I  wish  you  could  see  Blantyre,"  he  wrote  again ; 
"you  cannot  conceive  how  much  good  it  is  doing  to 
Africa.  Boys  are  here  trained  to  all  kinds  of  work, 
and  many  of  them  are  deeply  pious.  In  a  few  years 
these  will  spread  through  the  land.  Even  the  natives 
who  pass  through  here  daily  with  their  spears,  bows 
and  arrows,  and  guns  are  being  silently  influenced  for 
good.  You  cannot  expect  with  a  race  like  these  such 
results  as  some  good  people  at  home  are  tired  looking 
for,  but  one  realises  here  that  day  by  day  a  change  is 
being  wrought  on  the  whole  country  round  about." 

At  once  he  fell  into  line  and  took  his  place  in  the 
work  of  the  Mission.  That  gift  he  had  of  winning  the 
affection  of  all  who  knew  him  well  soon  endeared  him 
to  his  colleagues,  and  his  stay  at  Blantyre  was  a  busy 
and  happy  time.  But  the  post  for  which  he  was  des- 
tined was  Mount  Milanje,  a  mountain  district  about 
fifty  miles  from  Blantyre,  on  the  very  edge  of  the 
Shir4  Highlands.  Here  Mr.  Scott,  the  head  of  the 
Mission,  had  long  desired  to  plant  a  station.     It  was 


not  only  an  important  native  centre,  but  it  was  also  a 
place  where  the  Arabs  were  in  great  numbers,  and  from 
which  caravans  of  slaves  were  continually  being  sent 
to  the  coast.  It  was,  further,  as  Cleland  said,  the  Icey 
to  Quilimane^  as,  in  the  event  of  the  river  being  at  any 
time  blocked  by  war,  Milanje  commanded  the  direct 
line  of  the  overland  route  to  the  coast.  But  Milanje 
was  ruled  by  a  powerful  chief,  Chikumbu,  who  was 
unfriendly  to  the  Mission.  He  had  an  old-standing 
grievance  as  to  some  runaway  slaves  of  his,  Chipetas, 
having  been  harboured  at  Blantyre  years  before.  The 
first  step,  therefore,  was  to  visit  Chikumbu  and  secure, 
if  possible,  friendly  relations  with  him.  Accordingly 
Mr.  Scott,  accompanied  by  Mr.  Duncan,  set  off  on  a 
journey  to  Milanje  for  this  purpose.  Arrived  at  Chik- 
umbu's  after  their  fifty  miles'  walk,  they  found  that 
the  chief  refused  to  see  them  personally.  For  two  days 
they  were  kept  waiting  to  learn  his  decision  as  to  the 
reception  which  should  be  given  them,  and  one  can 
understand  the  anxiety  of  two  such  days,  waiting  on 
the  whim  of  a  powerful  and  treacherous  chief  whose 
cross  mood  or  fretful  temper  might  at  any  time  utter 
the  word  which  would  mean  their  death.  But  their 
hope  was  in  God.  After  two  days,  Chikumbu,  who 
still  refused  to  see  them,  sent  his  headmen  to  demand 
the  immediate  return  of  his  slaves.  Mr.  Scott  met  this 
demand  with  a  counter-proposal  that  he  would  redeem 
the  men,  purchasing  their  freedom  at  thirty-two  yards 
of  calico  per  head.     This  proposal  was  at  once  rejected 


by  the  headmen  with  sundry  threatenings  and  war-like 
demonstrations,  and  with  a  disappointed  heart,  but 
grateful  to  the  Providence  that  had  spared  their  lives, 
Mr.  Scott  and  Mr.  Duncan  returned  to  Blantyre. 

Baffled  thus  for  a  time  at  Milanje,  Cleland  went  to 
Chirazulo, — a  place  fifteen  miles  from  Blantyre,  on  the 
way  to  Domasi, — and  founded  a  Mission  station  there. 
Here  settling  among  a  people  who  welcomed  his  com- 
ing among  them,  he  erected  with  his  own  hands,  aided 
only  by  native  help,  a  building  for  a  church  and  school 
and  a  house  for  himself,  making  roads,  building  bridges, 
laying  out  a  garden  and  fields,  as  well  as  establishing 
a  school  and  teaching  the  natives,  preaching  all  the 
while  both  by  life  and  lips  the  Gospel  of  Jesus  Christ. 
Here  he  laboured  for  nearly  three  years, — a  true  pioneer, 
with  heart  and  head  and  hand  all  disciplined  and  ready 
for  whatever  God  might  give  him  to  do.  For  a  great 
part  of  that  time  he  was  there  alone,  with  never  a 
white  man  for  a  companion.  It  was  a  lonely  post,  but 
he  loved  the  African  people  with  a  wonderful  devotion. 
"You  would  love  them  too,"  he  wrote,  "if  you  only 
knew  them."  He  saw  much  of  the  horrors  of  the 
slave-trade,  and  often  his  heart  bled  for  the  wronsrs 
and  sufferings  which  he  saw  inflicted.  More  than  once 
with  his  own  money  he  redeemed  the  slave,  and  with 
his  own  hand  sawed  the  slave-stick  from  the  neck  and 
set  the  captive  free.  Again  and  again,  in  his  loneli- 
ness, he  was  down  with  the  terrible  fever,  but  ever  as 
he  recovered  he  was  at  work  again.     One  of  his  letters^ 


written  from  Chirazulo  on  the  27tli  October  1 888,  gives 
some  idea  of  the  heart-pressure  under  which  that  work 
was  carried  on  by  the  lonely  missionary  : — 

"  Work  here,"  he  says,  "  continues  as  usual.  We 
cannot  boast,  but  I  do  pray  that  some  seed  may  fall 
on  good  ground ;  and  I  know  it  will.  Yesterday  we 
went  to  the  hill  in  the  morning  as  usual.  Just  fancy 
yourself  in  Africa  on  a  mountain  side.  The  sun  is 
shining  brightly  on  the  native  village,  with  its  beehive- 
like grass  huts.  Here  and  there  under  huge  trees  are 
gathered  groups  of  people.  On  a  rock  near,  women 
are  pounding  maize,  men  are  weaving  mats,  and  the 
children  are  happy  at  play.  A  little  way  apart  from 
one  of  these  groups,  and  alone,  we  see  a  slave  sitting 
painfully  under  the  weight  of  a  heavy  slave-stick. 
His  eyes  are  dreamily  following  us.  We  speak  to  a 
group  of  women,  and  they  ask  us  when  rain  will  come. 
'  Father,'  they  say,  '  pray  for  rain,  or  there  will  be 
hunger.'  After  conversing  with  groups  here  and  there, 
and  asking  them  to  come  to  the  '  talk  about  God,' 
we  get  all  gathered  under  one  village  tree.  Just  aa 
the  service  is  beginning  we  hear  far  away  up  on  the 
hillside  a  woman  calling  with  that  peculiar  strained 
voice — strained  to  suit  the  distance.  All  is  silence. 
Then  we  hear  again,  and  this  time  we  distinguish 
plainly  the  word  wjondo,  and  soon  several  of  the 
men  rush  up.  It  is  news  of  war.  Some  boys  from 
the  other  side  of  the  hill  have  been  captured  at  Lake 
Shirwa  when  fishing  with  their  fathers.     All  is  excite- 


ment,  and  we  hear  them  say, '  They  will  be  taken  to  the 
Matapwiri/ — a  great  Arab  centre  on  Milanje,  whence 
they  will  be  driven  to  the  coast,  sold,  and  perhaps 
shipped  off  who  knows  where  ?  In  a  little  some  one 
suggests,  'Let  us  be  quiet  until  the  white  man  speaks 
about  God,  and  then  we  will  hear  about  the  war.' "... 
Writing  at  another  time  he  says  : — "At  the  service  in 
church  here  we  had  about  a  hundred  people  present, 
but  no  children.  The  mothers,  I  heard,  were  afraid, 
and  kept  them  at  home.  One  of  those  present  was  a 
slave  whose  future  was  very  uncertain.  A  more  touch- 
ing scene  could  not  be  depicted  than  when  he  stood  alone 
outside  our  little  church,  with  no  one  to  take  up  the 
burden  of  his  heavy  yoke,  and  so  help  him  on ;  or  as  he 
sat  on  the  ground  behind  the  rest,  so  wretched-looking, 
painfully  twisting  his  neck  in  the  slave-stick  to  look  up 
or  around  him.  But  what  is  this  case,  heartrending 
though  it  be,  to  that  of  the  thousands  who  are  herded 
down  that  dreadful  way  to  the  coast  at  Shirwa  ?  I 
found  I  was  on  a  great  slave-route,  and  saw  a  caravan 
said  to  be  with  ivory.  '  Yes,'  said  one  of  my  boys,  *  but 
black  ivory  ! '  .  .  .  That  poor  slave  I  spoke  of  has  begged 
me  to  buy  him.  '  I  may  be  sold  to  the  coast  soon,'  he 
said.  '  Buy  me,  and  I  will  do  your  work.'  His  poor 
heart  is  breaking,  but  his  is  only  one  in  a  multitude  of 
breaking  hearts  in  this  dark  land.  I  shall  never  forget 
how  one  day  a  poor  woman  rushed  into  the  station 
and  cried  for  me — for  the  white  man — to  save  her. 
'  They  are  taking  me  to  the  coast  to  sell  me,'  she  said. 


'  Oh,  save  rae !  They  hav^e  stolen  me  from  my  home 
with  the  Chiknmbu  tribe  over  the  river.'  I  often 
wonder  wliere  she  is  now.  Perhaps  her  heart  broke 
altogether  on  that  dark  way  to  the  coast,  or  is  break- 
ing now,  somewhere  far  away,  for  her  old  home  over 
the  river.  People  at  home  cannot,  I  think,  feel  as  we 
feel  when  we  stand  face  to  face — ay,  and  often  help- 
less— before  such  scenes.  But  with  life  before  us 
hope  runs  high,  and  we  thank  God  in  our  loneliness 
for  the  great  blessedness  of  being  able  to  do  our  weak 
little  best  to  bind  up  the  broken-hearted,  to  proclaim 
liberty  to  the  captives  and  the  great  brotherhood  of 
men.     Oh,  come  over  and  help  us ! " 

With  that  strange,  deep  love  of  Africa  filling  his 
soul,  everything  about  its  poor  degraded  suffering  life 
seemed  to  go  to  his  very  heart.  In  another  letter  he 
wrote : — "  How  touching  it  was  to  hear,  through  the 
grass  walls  of  the  hut  where  I  slept,  a  woman  wailing 
for  hours  for  her  husband,  who  had  long  been  dead ! 
She  had  dreamed  of  him  in  the  night,  and  (as  is  the 
custom)  she  came  out  and  paced  before  her  hut  through 
the  silent  hours  of  the  morning,  calling  him  to  come 
back  to  her  in  strangely  pathetic  and  yet  weirdly 
musical  words,  pausing  at  times  to  speak  to  the  dead 
in  her  natural  voice."  But,  indeed,  never  a  letter  came 
from  him  in  which  he  did  not  sigh  over  the  cruel 
wrongs  of  his  adopted  people ;  and  how  his  indigna- 
tion flashed  when  he  thought  of  self-satisfied  Christians 
in  the  Church  at  home  supinely  indifferent  to  these 


things,  callous  to  siicli  sufferings,  and  deaf  to  every 
appeal  on  their  behalf!  He  could  not  understand 
such  people. 

In  the  autumn  of  188S  the  Rev,  Alexander  Hether- 
wick,  missionary  at  Domasi,  a  station  fifty-five  miles 
north-east  of  Blantyre,  came  home  on  a  much-needed 
and  well  -  earned  furlough,  and  during  the  sixteen 
months  he  was  absent  Cleland  took  charge  of  the  work 
at  Domasi,  along  with  his  own  work  at  Chirazulo, 
walking  regularly  the  long  distance  between  the  two 
places.  There  he  had  the  companionship  of  Mr.  R.  S. 
Hynde,  teacher  of  the  Mission  school.  The  com- 
panionship of  such  a  one  was  a  great  joy  to  him,  and 
a  fast  friendship  was  formed  between  the  two.  It 
was  no  mere  formal  supervision  of  the  work  that  he 
took  while  at  Domasi.  It  was  like  everything  he 
did,  thorough  and  laborious.  Nor  was  it  confined  to 
preaching  and  teaching.  He  was  as  ready  with  the 
spade  and  the  hammer  and  the  axe  as  he  was  with  the 
Yao  lesson-book  or  the  New  Testament.  At  the  time 
of  Mr.  Hetherwick's  return  we  read  in  the  Blantyre 
Supplement — the  little  magazine  printed  at  the  Mission 
printing-press : — 

"  Mr.  Cleland  has  done  Roman  work  here  during  the 
sixteen  months  of  Mr.  Hetherwick's  absence.  A  foot- 
path eight  miles  in  length  has  been  hoed  along  the 
base  of  Mount  Zomba  from  Mr.  Buchanan's  planta- 
tions to  the  station  at  Domasi,  and  has  facilitated 
immensely   communication    between    the    two   places. 


Mr.  Buchanan  cleared  part  of  it  at  his  end  as  far  as 
the  boundary  of  his  property  on  the  Naisi.  A  good 
road  has  been  made  from  the  station  to  the  chief's 
village,  crossing  the  Domasi  River  by  a  bridge  which 
is  a  triumph  of  engineering  skill.  A  water-channel 
fully  a  mile  long  brings  the  water  of  the  Chifunde 
stream  close  to  the  station — a  great  boon.  Thus  we 
have  good  roads  and  good  water, — two  potent  civilizers 
of  a  new  country." 

Then  he  returned  to  Chirazulo  and  continued  the 
work  there,  not  without  encouraging  tokens  of  blessing. 
To  help  him  in  it  he  had  with  him  Kapito  and  his 
wife,  Rondau, — natives  who  had  been  in  the  Mission 
at  Blantyre  ever  since  its  commencement.  They  had 
been  baptized  a  few  years  before,  and  on  Easter  Sunday 
1887  they  had  sat  down  together  at  the  Table  of  Holy 
Communion,  the  first  communicants  of  the  native  Chris- 
tian Church.  Now  they  are  helping  to  train  their 
countrymen  in  the  knowledge  and  love  of  Christ, 
and  faithfully  and  happily  Cleland  and  they  lived  and 
worked  together.  From  time  to  time  he  paid  short 
visits  to  Blantyre,  where  he  was  always  a  welcome 
visitor,  and  occasionally  he  preached  in  the  church 
there.  This  was  always  a  trial  to  him,  for  he  was 
terribly  diffident  of  his  own  powers ;  but  some  of  those 
who  were  accustomed  to  hear  him,  speak  of  his  remark- 
able power  in  the  pulpit,  of  his  singularly  clear  percep- 
tion of  the  truth,  and  of  the  spiritual  power  with  which 
he  preached. 


But  Milanje  was  his  destination,  and  he  never  lost 
sight  of  that  goal.  All  this  time  he  was  looking 
across  to  the  mountain  as  the  place  where  he  was  yet 
to  be,  and  repeated  journeys  thither  had  been  under- 
taken in  hope  of  finding  the  door  open  for  starting 
the  Mission  there.  After  the  visit  of  Mr.  Scott  and 
Mr.  Duncan,  already  referred  to,  and  while  they  were 
returning  to  Blantyre  disappointed  at  Chikumbu's  re- 
fusal to  make  terms  of  friendship,  the  chief  changed 
his  mind,  or  perhaps  he  took  a  different  view  of  the 
situation  from  his  headmen.  Perhaps  it  occurred  to 
him  to  ask  himself  whether  all  those  yards  of  calico 
should  be  lost,  or  whether  it  might  not  be  dangerous 
to  offend  "  the  white  man."  However  it  might  be,  he 
sent  his  son  to  Blantyre  with  a  diplomatically  polite 
message.  He  was  sorry  that,  having  been  away  on  a 
hunting  expedition,  he  had  not  seen  Mr.  Scott  (!),  but 
he  hoped  he  would  soon  return  to  visit  him,  when 
he  was  sure  some  amicable  terms  could  be  arranged. 
Some  time  after,  Mr.  Scott  paid  a  second  visit,  accom- 
panied by  Dr.  Bowie,  and  saw  the  formidable  chief  in 
his  native  village,  when  they  were  able  to  settle  the 
matter  of  the  slaves  and  their  redemption,  and  to 
establish  friendly  relations  between  him  and  the  mis- 
sionaries. A  fownal  document  was  prepared,  and  duly 
signed  by  the  various  parties  to  the  agreement.  It 
is  something  of  a  curiosity  in  its  way.  It  is  as 
follows : —  ' 


"  Blantyrk,  Quilimane,  East  Africa, 
26th  May  1 8.^  8. 

"  By  these  presents  be  it  known  that  I,  the  head- 
man of  Chikumbu,  have  received  on  Chikumbu's  be- 
hoof, to  carry  to  Chikumbu  from  Mr.  Scott,  head  of 
the  Blantyre  Mission,  on  behoof  of  said  Mission, 
two  trusses  of  cloth,  and  that  this  is  the  earnest  to 
Chikumbu  himself  of  three  more  trusses  yet  to  follow' 
to  be  divided  amongst  Chikumbu's  headmen  as  Chik- 
umbu himself  shall  see  fit,  and  that  these  five  trusses 
shall  be  for  settlement  of  all  past  mlandu  concerning 
slaves  and  all  else,  and  the  establishment  of  friendly 
relations  between  the  English  and  the  said  chief, 

"  In    witness    of  which    first    part   of  transmission        » 
to  said   Chikumbu,  we,  the   undersigned,  append  our 

(Signed)        John  Bowie. 

David  Clement  Scott. 
Masonga  (his  mark). 

D.  C.  S.,  Witness. 
Chendombo  (his  mark). 
D.  C.  S." 

"Blanttre,  ^thJune  1888. 

"  Be  it  further  known   that  three  trusses  of  calico 

are   this   day  handed    over   to    Chikumbu's  headman, 

Masonga,  and  headman  Kanjole  with  him,  on  behoof 

of   Chief   Chikumbu ;    and    that    Chikumbu    through 


them  now  declares  that  these  five  trusses  (viz.,  the 
two  formerly  sent  and  these  present  three)  finish  the 
mlandu ;  that  there  is  no  further  ground  of  quarrel 
between  the  Chief  Chikumbu  and  the  English  on 
account  of  slaves  which  formerly  ran  away,  or  on 
account  of  any  one  of  the  slaves ;  and  that  friendship 
is  herewith  established  and  secured. 

"  In  witness  whereof,  we,  the  undersigned,  set  to 
and  append  our  names. 

(Signed)        David  Clement  Scott. 

Masonga  (his  mark). 

Kanjole  (his  mark). 

John  Bowie. 

Douglas  R.  Pelly. 

Henry  Hendekson. 

"  Signed  this  fourth  day  of  June,  eighteen  hundred 
and  eighty- eight  years,  at  Blantyre  Mission  Station, 
Shird  Hills,  East  Africa." 

Such  were  the  title-deeds  to  Milanje.  They  opened 
its  closed  door,  and  the  chief  now  expressed  his 
desire  that  the  missionaries  would  come  and  live  in 
his  territory.  How  gladly  would  Cleland  have  gone ! 
But  by  that  time  it  was  impossible,  for  Hetherwick 
was  away  home,  and  he  had  Domasi  on  his  hands 
as  well  as  Chirazulo.  There  were  other  difficulties 
in  the  way,  too.  Chikumbu  himself  was  fickle  and 
uncertain,  although  when,  at  Christmas-time  (1888), 
Cleland  paid  a  visit  to  the  mountain,  he  still  desired 


him  to  come  and  live  there.  Portuguese  troubles,  too, 
were  now  hanging  over  the  Mission,  hindering  every- 
thing and  increasing  the  difficulties  and  uncertainty 
and  it  was  not  till  May  1890  that  Cleland  was  able  to  go 
to  Milanje  definitely  to  settle,  Chikumbu  received  him 
with  every  token  of  friendship,  and  both  the  Wayao 
and  their  neighbours,  the  Wanyasa,  under  Chipoka, 
welcomed  him ;  but  it  was  not  long  before  it  became 
evident  that  Chikumbu's  friendship  was  not  to  be 
depended  on.  Cleland's  tent  was  pitched  under  the 
great  trees  on  the  side  of  the  mountain,  and  he 
desired  to  purchase  land  on  which  to  erect  a  house. 
So  many  difficulties  and  troubles  however,  were  raised 
regarding  the  land,  that  Cleland's  carriers,  who  had 
brought  his  things,  began  to  suspect  the  chief  of 
seeking  a  quarrel  which  might  furnish  an  excuse  for 
seizing  the  goods,  and  it  was  with  difficulty  that  they 
were  prevented  from  running  away  in  the  night.  Several 
days  full  of  anxiety  and  trouble  were  thus  spent,  when, 
to  make  matters  worse,  Cleland  was  laid  down  with  fever. 
After  a  few  miserable  days  he  was  sufficiently  recovered 
to  go  ofiT,  leaving  tent  and  everything,  and  make  a 
hurried  journey  to  Blantyre.  Here  he  got  quit  of  his 
fever,  and  after  a  few  days  more,  was  able  to  return 
to  Milanje,  Mr.  M'llwain,  the  joiner,  accompanying 
him.  Soon  things  seemed  satisfactorily  settled,  and 
Mr.  M'llwain  was  able  to  return  to  Blantyre,  leaving 
Cleland  to  the  work  of  clearing  the  ground  and  pre- 
paring  the    sun-dried    bricks    for    the    erection    of  a 


schoolhouse  and  of  establishing  the  Mission  by  opening 
a  school  for  the  Wayao  children. 

And  so  he  was  on  Mount  Milanje  at  last !  Oh,  the 
joy  it  was  to  him  to  be  there !  I  wish  I  could  let  you 
see  the  eager,  happy  missionary  at  his  work, — his 
little  tent  under  the  great  trees,  and  himself  and  his 
co-workers  busy  as  could  be,  making  bricks,  digging 
foundations,  teaching  the  children.  In  the  September 
number  of  the  Blantyre  Sujjplemeiit  he  wrote : — "  After 
more  than  ten  years  of  effort  the  ]\Iission  has  at  last 
secured  a  footing  on  Mount  Milanje ! "  The  goal  of 
his  hopes  was  reached.  The  standard  of  the  Cross 
was  planted  on  those  heights  which  he  had  been  sent 
out  to  claim,  and  his  heart  rejoiced. 

For  a  time  things  went  smoothly,  but  his  difficulties 
were  not  yet  over.  They  were  in  reality  only  beginning. 
The  two  tribes  which  were  to  unite  in  peace  around  the 
missionaries  of  the  Prince  of  Peace  were  still  savages, 
and  they  could  not  easily  throw  aside  their  wild  nature. 
Chikumbu,  who  had  been  for  years  the  scourge  and 
terror  of  his  district,  was  still  eager  to  have  the 
Wanyasa  people  under  his  rule,  and  treachery  and 
cruelty,  war  and  bloodshed,  soon  broke  out  around  the 
young  Mission.  One  day  Chikumbu  made  a  sudden 
and  fierce  attack  on  the  weaker  tribe,  the  chief  him- 
self at  the  head  of  his  warriors  wildly  waving  an  Arab 
flag  inscribed  with  verses  from  the  Koran,  and  urging 
on  the  slaughter  and  destruction.  Cleland,  who  was 
at  the  time  suffering  from  fever,  hurried  to  the  scene. 


and  heedless  of  risk  or  danger,  made  Lis  way  through 
the  fight  to  the  chief,  and  quietly  but  firmly  taking  the 
flag  from  his  hand,  ordered  him  to  desist.  Strangely 
impressed,  the  chief  submitted,  and  yielded  up  his  flag, 
saying,  "  Lalal  (Cleland)  has  a  brave  heart,  like  Chik- 
urabu  himself."  For  a  time  the  fighting  was  over, 
but  the  feud  was  deep-seated  and  chronic,  and  Chik- 
umbu  was  grasping  and  treacherous,  and  again  and 
again  trouble  and  difficulty  arose.  At  one  time  Cleland 
thought  of  removing  to  some  more  peaceful  part  of  the 
mountain,  but  to  do  that  was  to  leave  tLo  Wanyasa  to 
the  tender  mercies  of  Chikumbu,  so  he  held  on  at  his 
trying  post.  His  faith  failed  not,  and  his  work  went 
on.  "  Our  small  school,  since  started,"  he  wrote,  "  will, 
we  trust,  not  be  hindered  by  future  hostilities,  and  we 
hope  that  the  difficulties  of  these  last  three  months 
may  be  but  the  birth-throes  of  a  future  day  of  peace, 
when  the  healing  beams  of  the  Sun  of  Righteousness 
will  kindle  the  love  of  man  to  man  in  the  dear  love 
of  God." 

Early  in  September  he  went  to  Blantyre  to  attend  a 
meeting  of  the  Missionary  Council,  when  his  friends 
wrote  that,  in  spite  of  the  troubles  he  had  gone 
through,  he  was  looking  much  better  than  when  he 
was  there  before.  He  was  so  bright  and  happy,  and 
seemed  altogether  in  such  good  spirits,  though  his 
troubles  were  by  no  means  over,  and  it  was  settled  that 
Dr.  W.  A.  Scott  should  accompany  him  on  his  return, 
to  support  him  in  any  further  difficulties  with  Chik- 


umbu.  Sunday  the  14th  September  was  Communion 
Sunday  at  Blantyre.  In  the  morning  they  all  sat 
together  at  the  Table  of  the  Lord,  and  in  the  evening 
Cleland  preached  and  closed  the  Communion  service. 
Very  beautiful, — almost  like  a  vision, — is  the  glimpse 
we  get  of  the  little  church  that  day,  and  the  little  com- 
pany of  disciples,  for  so  many  of  whom  it  was  the 
last  Communion  on  earth.  I  love  to  think  of  Cleland 
closing  that  memorable  service,  so  far  away  from  the 
Coatbridge  smoke, — so  far  from  the  green  hills  of 
Lochaber, — in  the  heart  of  suffering  Africa,  which  he 
loved  so  passionately,  yet  in  the  bosom  of  the  Christian 
church  planted  there  through  Christian  sacrifice, — in 
that  fellowship  of  the  saints  which  was  so  sweet  to 
him,  and  in  the  very  holy  of  holies  of  the  Christian 
temple,  standing  himself  with  uplifted  hands  speaking 
words  of  benediction  on  the  Church  of  God.  It  was 
from  such  a  time  of  Holy  Communion  that  he  went 
out  again  into  the  night,  as  his  Master  went  to  the 
garden  and  the  Cross. 

There  is  not  much  more  to  tell — only  the  end.  Dr. 
W.  Scott  and  he  returned  to  Milanje,  but  the  difficulties 
with  Chikumbu  increased  to  such  an  extent  that  they 
were  relunctantly  obliged  to  leave  him,  for  a  season  at 
least.  They  made  a  journey  down  the  Ruo,  and  then 
returned  to  a  place  at  the  Linge,  between  Chikumbu's 
and  Nkanda's.  After  spending  a  few  days  with  a  head- 
man, Chakamonde,  they  went  into  a  little  round  native 
hut  near  the   place   they  had   chosen  for  their   new 


quarters.  There  they  remained  for  a  week,  during 
which  time  Clelaud  went  across  to  Chikumbu's  and  had 
"the  stuff"  brought  over.  Then  they  set  to  work  to 
prepare  a  new  station,  Dr.  Scott  digging  pits  for  the 
poles  of  the  schoolhouse,  and  Cleland  working  at  a  bit 
of  a  road  to  the  stream.  That  afternoon  (Tuesday) 
Cleland  took  ill — very  ill.  Both  of  them  had  been 
having  touches  of  fever,  off  and  on,  for  some  time ;  but 
this  was  much  more  serious.  What  a  blessing  it  was 
and  how  thankful  we  are  now  that  his  companion  at 
the  time  was  the  doctor!  Everything  was  done  that 
could  be,  but  there  was  no  improvement.  He  grew 
worse.  On  Thursday  messengers  were  despatched  to 
Blantyre  for  more  medicines  and  port  wine,  and  the 
doctor  had  him  moved  a  great  way  up  the  hill,  near 
the  rocks.  By  this  time  he  was  completely  prostrate. 
It  was  a  terrible  place  for  wind  up  there  near  the  hill- 
top, so  Dr.  Scott  had  a  little  house  built,  nine  feet 
by  twelve,  high  in  the  centre,  and  strong,  with  a 
grass  roof,  and  "  tolerably  cosy."  All  Friday  and 
Saturday  he  lay  there,  every  symptom  growing  alarm- 
ingly worse,  till  the  doctor  had  almost  lost  hope. 
He  was  dull  and  apathetic  and  not  like  himself, 
"  which,"  says  Dr.  Scott,  "  made  one  feel  it  was  a 
patient  he  was  attending,  and  not  poor  Cleland,  which 
was  somewhat  easier  to  do."  On  Saturday  the  mes- 
sengers returned  from  Blantyre,  bringing  a  machilah  to 
convey  him  thither.  He  was  himself  anxious  to  go,  so 
next  morning  men  were  got  for  carriers, — fortunately 


without  much  difficulty — and  the  party  set  out  for 
Blantyre  as  fast  as  it  was  possible  to  go.  That  night 
they  stopped  to  rest  at  a  place  called  Medima,  a 
weird,  dreary  place.  Dr.  Scott,  writing  of  it,  says : — 
"  I  would  rather  have  gone  on  to  Chintzorbedzi,  for 
Medima  is  a  doleful  place.  It  is  the  place  where  that 
Japanese  died ;  and  there  is  another  grave,  too ;  and 
lions  infest  the  place.  Cleland,  however,  wished  to 
stop  there,  and  we  did  so.  It  was  a  strange,  strange 
night.  At  midnight  he  was  so  ill  I  scarce  thought  he 
could  live  through  it,  and  I  said  to  myself,  '  If  not  to- 
night, it  will  be  to-morrow  night.'  The  hiccough  was 
constant  now,  rhythmical,  every  third  inspiration ;  and 
what  a  sound  it  made  there — without  another  in  all 
the  lonely  forest  except  now  and  again  a  leopard  grunt- 
ing round  the  camp."  After  resting  till  2.40  a.m. 
the  caravan  started  again.  It  was  pitch-dark,  and 
they  had  to  pick  their  way  through  the  bush  by  the 
light  of  the  candle-lantern  which  Dr.  Scott  carried, 
who,  poor  man  !  worn  with  fatigue  and  watching,  was 
sleeping  on  his  feet  as  he  walked,  and  from  time  to 
time  stumbled  into  the  bush  as  the  path  took  a  sharp 
or  sudden  turn.  A  dreary  sunrise  saw  them  eagerly 
pushing  on,  and  at  10.30  the  sad  procession  filed  into 
Blantyre,  twenty-four  hours  and  a  half  from  the  time 
they  had  left  the  mountain. 

Arrived  there,  remedies  were  applied  and  every- 
thing that  love  and  skill  and  care  could  do  for  him 
was    done.     The   sight    of    friends    around    him,    and 


especially  of  bis  beloved  Dr.  Bowie,  acted  like  a  tonic. 
He  brightened  up  on  seeing  them.  "  It  does  me  good 
to  see  you,"  he  said  to  Dr.  Bowie;  and  he  really 
seemed  to  improve.  Alas  !  it  was  the  flickering  before 
the  darkness.  Dr.  Bowie  and  Mr.  Scott  arranged  to 
divide  the  night  between  them  to  watch  by  him  by 
turns,  but  in  the  first  watch  of  the  night,  about  ten 
o'clock,  while  Mr.  Scott  was  with  him,  without  a  word, 
without  a  struggle,  he  passed  away.  His  warfare 
accomplished,  his  toils  over,  another  "Livingstone 
Man"  had  died  for  the  redemption  of  Africa.  As 
they  looked  on  him  there,  so  peacefully  at  rest  after 
all  his  labours,  a  feeling  almost  of  envy  was  in  every 
heart, — "  Blessed  are  the  dead  which  die  in  the  Lord  from 
henceforth :  Yea,  saith  the  Spirit,  that  they  may  rest 
from  their  labours;  -and  their  works  do  follow  them." 

This  was  the  loth  of  November.  Next  day  they 
laid  him  in  the  little  cemetery  at  Blantyre,  natives 
and  Europeans  sorrowing  together  around  his  grave. 
Thus  Cleland  of  Milanje  sleeps  his  long  sleep,  as  he 
prayed  that  he  might,  in  one  of  the  vast  solitudes, 
and  already  the  fruits  of  his  work  are  growing  up 
around  him.  Already  those  vast  solitudes  are  be- 
coming the  garden  of  God. 

"  Now  the  labourer's  task  is  o'er, 
Now  the  battle-day  is  past, 
Now  upon  the  farther  shore 
Lands  the  voyager  at  last. 
Father,  in  Thy  gracious  keeping 
Leave  we  now  Thy  servant  sleeping." 


Very  deep  was  the  impression  made  at  home  by  the 
news  of  the  young  missionary's  death, — and  especially 
among  those  who,  like  himself,  were  still  young  men. 
He  had  been  one  of  the  earliest  members  of  the  Church 
of  Scotland  Young  Men's  Guild — a  Union  embracing 
a  large  proportion  of  the  young  men  of  the  Church. 
He  had  been  the  first  to  go  from  its  ranks  to  the 
mission-field ;  and  he  was  the  first  of  their  number  to 
be  laid  in  a  missionary's  grave.  We  do  not  wonder, 
therefore,  that  when  the  Guild  first  met  in  its  Annual 
Conference  after  his  death,  the  Delegates  present,  re- 
presenting their  brethren  in  all  parts  of  the  land, 
resolved  to  erect  in  the  new  church  at  Blantyre  a 
Memorial  Tablet  recording  their  affectionate  remem- 
brance of  him  and  his  work.  And  so,  beside  the 
tablet  that  there  commemorates  Henry  Henderson, 
and  the  windows  that  speak  of  Dr.  Bowie,  there  is  to 
be  seen  a  simple  brass  tablet  bearing  the  following 
inscription : — 


Born  at  Coatbridge,  Scotland,  September  4,  1857. 

Ordained  a  Missionary  to  Africa,  May  29,  1887. 

Died  at  Blantyre,  November  10,  1S90. 

This  Tablet  is  erected 


The  Members  of  the  Church  op  Scotland  Young  Men's  Guild, 

in  Memory  of 

the  First  of  their  Number  laid  in  a  Missionary's  Grave, 

'Till  He  Come." 




Thus  they  died  at  their  posts, — three  good  men  and 
true, — and  the  world  is  the  poorer  for  their  loss;  but, 
though  dead,  Henderson,  Bowie,  and  Cleland  still  speak 
to  us.  When  the  Angel  of  Death  had  folded  his  wings, 
that  was  a  sadly  stricken  community  over  which  he  had 
passed.  Blantyre  was  left  almost  a  wreck  of  its  former 
self — "  almost  a  mission  skeleton  of  three  lonely  house- 
occupants  at  the  three  corners  of  the  place," — a  few 
brave  hearts  strained  almost  to  the  breaking.  Yet 
they  never  gave  way,  and  out  of  their  very  need  came 
a  voice  whose  appeal  reached  the  heart  of  the  Church 
at  home.  It  is  the  day  of  battle  which  calls  forth  the 
soldier  spirit,  and  we  do  not  wonder  that  the  story  of 
courage,  endurance,  and  death,  instead  of  deterring, 
should  awake  a  spirit  of  chivalry  and  call  forth  offer 
after  offer  to  go  and  occupy  the  vacant  posts.  The 
Church  had  hardly  time  to  record  her  sorrow  over  the 
fallen,  and  to  thank  God  for  the  work  they  had  done, 
ere  she  was  laying  hands  of  benediction  on  others 
going  forth  to  take  up  the  work  that  had  fallen  from 
their  hands.     Already  five  new  missionaries  have  gone 


to  join  the  staff  of  the  Mission,  and  uo  better  wish 
could  be  offered  as  we  bid  them  "  God  speed  "  than 
that  they  may  catch  something  of  the  spirit  of  those 
whom  they  have  gone  to  succeed. 

A  widespread  desire  has  been  expressed  that 
some  fitting  memorial  should  be  found  to  cherish 
the  memory  of  those  who,  in  Blantyre,  laid  down 
their  lives  in  the  service  of  Christ,  and  it  is  felt  that 
the  true  memorial  must  be  something  which  will  help 
to  perpetuate  their  spirit  and  continue  their  work.  It 
has,  therefore,  been  proposed  that  a  Cleland  Memorial 
Church  should  one  day  be  erected  on  Mount  Milanje, — 
where  Robert  Cleland  so  fearlessly  and  laboriously  laid 
the  foundations  of  a  Christian  Mission.  In  Blantyre, 
too,  there  will  surely  be  ere  long  a  Bowie  Hospital — 
such  an  hospital  as  Dr.  Bowie  longed  for — where  the 
loving,  patient,  skilful  care  with  which  he  tended  his 
poor  black  patients  may  be  continued  by  others, 
labouring,  like  him,  for  Christ's  sake.  Then  on  the 
River  Shir^  there  is  to  be — and  very  soon,  we  hope — 
a  Mission  Steamer  bearing  the  name  of  Henry 
Henderson,  which,  like  the  pioneer  missionary  him- 
self, will  in  future  go  down  to  meet  the  outgoing 
mission-party  at  the  coast,  and  conduct  them  up  the 
river  to  their  field  of  labour;  only  doing  it  with  a 
speed,  health,  and  comfort  unknown  in  former  days. 
It  will  also  overcome  the  difficulties  in  the  way  of 
evangelizing  those  river  tribes,  whose  chiefs  and  vil- 
lages are  praying  us  to  come  to  them,  but  whose  home 


is  where  the  European  may  not  dwell,  and  whom, 
therefore,  only  a  Mission  Steamer,  with  a  man  of  the 
Cleland  stamp  in  charge  of  it,  can  eflfectually  reach. 

Such  monuments  are  proposed,  and  doubtless  there 
are  many  who  will  count  it  a  privilege  to  have  a  share 
in  providing  them.  Worthy  memorials  they  will  be  of 
three  such  lives,  for  they  will  secure  the  continuance 
of  the  work  done  by  those  whose  names  they  bear. 
But,  after  all,  these  will  be  but  tools,  and  their  worth 
as  memorials  will  depend  on  the  kind  of  men  who 
use  them.  In  the  little  missionary  band  now  holding 
the  field  in  Central  Africa  there  are  to-day  as  brave 
hearts  and  true  as  any  that  are  gone.  But  they  are 
sorely  in  need  of  help,  and  they  appeal  to  us  for  it. 
The  burden  is  too  heavy, — the  work  is  too  much, — the 
possibilities  are  too  great  for  them  to  bear  alone ;  and 
the  voice  of  the  living  and  the  memory  of  the  dead 
alike  cry  to  us, — "Pray  ye  the  Lord  of  the  harvest 
that  He  would  send  forth  more  labourers  into  the  har- 
vest." There  is  no  field  in  the  world  where  conse- 
crated men  and  women,  are  more  needed,  or  in  which 
they  can  better  invest  loving  service  for  Jesus'  sake. 
This  is  the  true  memorial  which  the  Church  must 
raise  to  lives  like  these — men  and  women  cherishing 
their  memory,  breathing  their  spirit,  following  in  their 
footsteps — to  render,  through  the  Church  and  the  Hos- 
pital and  the  Mission  Steamer,  loving  Christ-like  ser- 
vice to  the  poor  dark  children  of  Africa.  Will  the 
Church  at  home  furnish  these?     In  closino-  the  book 


whicli  tells  the  story  of  those  Martyrs  of  Blantyre, 
may  one  venture  to  wonder  whether  among  those  who 
may  read  that  story  there  may  not  be  some  one  who 
will  hear  iu  it  a  call  to  self-consecration — some  one 
who,  giving  himself  to  God  and  to  Africa,  may  one  day 
bring  to  the  INIission  the  watchful  care  of  a  Henderson, 
the  heroic  devotion  and  skill  of  a  Bowie,  or  the  conse- 
crated enthusiasm  and  labour  of  a  Cleland  ?  The  Lord 
grant  it  in  His  time  ! 





1                         ''                                  ^\      s.  \             _,~~_a^'^'^ji*'^-^'' 

o     ^ 

:  r7 

,J                     Hammcli 

/             '                <'''^            1       LA  HE      1            > 









V  Bp  iUu:i<jcn;a^-s                                                                           O 

1  Obrir^^Jj^i  Staujm  1 

3i  EDr                                                                                                                            3G 






Blantyre  {Founded  1875). 
Rev.  D.  C.  Scott,  B.D.,  F.R.S.G.S.  (18S1),  and  Mrs. 
Scott;  John  M'llwain,  Industi'ial  (1884);  Miss  Janet  Beck 
(1887);  Mrs.  Fenwick;  John  A.  Smith,  Teacher  (1888), 
and  Mrs.  Smith;  Rev.  W.  A.  Scott,  M.A.,  M.B.,  CM., 
(1889);  George  Adamson,  Industrial  (1891);  James  Reid, 
General  Agent  (1891);  H.  D.  Herd,  Teacher  (1891). 

DoMASi  {Founded  1884). 
Rev.   A.    Hetherwick,    M.A.,    F.R.G.S.   (1883);    R.  S. 
Hynde,  Teacher  (1888),  and  Mrs.  Hynde;  Miss  Margaret 
Christie  (1889);    Rev.    H.    E.    Scott,   L.E.C.P.  and'^S.E. 
(1890);  Miss  Euphemia  Edie  (1891). 

Chirazulo  {Founded  1887). 
Founded    by    the    late   Rev.    R.    Cleland.      At   present 
worked  by  Native  Teachers  from  Blantyre. 

MiLANJE  {Founded  1890.) 
Founded  by  the  late  Rev.  R.  Cleland.    Rev.  Adam  Currie, 
M.A.  (1891);  George  Robertson,  L.R.C.P  and  S.E.  (1891). 



TRIBUTE    PAID    TO    THE    Memory    of    the    Blaxtyre 

MlSSlUNAUlES      BY     THE     GENERAL     ASSEMBLY     OF     THE 

CnuRCH  OF  Scotland. 

The  Church's  sense  of  the  loss  sustained  by  the  death 
of  those  missionaries  is  expressed  in  the  following  : — 

Minute  of  General  Assembly  as  to  the  Deiths  of 
Missionaries  at  Blantyre. 

At  Edinburgh,  the  ist  day  of  June  1891, 
Which  day  the  General  Assembly  of  the  Church  of  Scot- 
land being  met  and  constituted,  i7ife7'  alia, — The  General 
Assembly  having  been  informed  by  its  Foreign  Mission 
Committee  of  the  death  at  Blantyi'e  on  loth  November 
of  the  Rev.  Robert  Cleland ;  the  death  at  Blantyie  on 
13th  January  of  INIrs.  Henry  Henderson;  the  death  at 
Blantyie  on  1 7th  January  of  Dr.  John  Bowie ;  the  death 
at  Quilimane  on  12th  February  of  Mr.  Henry  Henderson, — 
desires  to  record  in  its  Minutes  a  tribute  of  respect  to  those 
gi'catly  lamented  mis.sionaries,  an  extract  thereof  to  be  sent 
to  the  relatives  of  the  deceased. 

Mr.  Robert  Cleland  was  born  in  Coatbridge  in  1857, 
and  served  an  apprenticeship  as  an  engineer.  In  his 
twenty-first  year  he  decided  to  study  for  the  ministry,  with 
the  view  of  becoming  a  missionary  in  Afinca.  He  was 
ordained  in  St.  George's  Church,  Edinburgh,  on  29th  IMay 
1S87,  and  sailed  from  London  on  9th  June  following. 
During  his  short  career  of  less  than  three  and  a  half  years 
in  Africa  he  founded  the  mission-station  of  Chirazulo  and 
was  pioneer  missionary  to  Mount  Milanje.  In  addition  to 
his  own  work,  he  took  charge  of  Domasi  Mission  for  sixteen 
months,  making  good  roads  and  bringing  in  good  water, 


while  at  the  same  time  labouring  with  singular  consecra- 
tion as  a  missionary.  He  was  on  a  tour  of  inspection  on 
Mount  Milanje  when  he  was  seized  with  the  fever  from 
which,  five  days  afterwards,  he  died  at  Blantyre. 

Mr.  John  Bowie,  M.B.,  CM.,  Avas  the  son  of  an  esteemed 
citizen  of  Edinburgh,  and  was  a  very  distinguished  student 
at  the  University  of  that  city,  carrj'ing  off  the  gold  medals 
in  Physiology,  Natural  History,  Practice  of  Medicine,  &c. 
He  had  entered  on  a  London  practice,  and  was  rising  into 
eminence,  when  he  made  up  his  mind  to  devote  his  life 
to  mission-work  in  Africa,  joining  his  brother-in-law,  the 
Eev.  D.  C  Scott,  B.D.,  at  Blantyre.  He  went  out  to 
Africa  early  in  the  summer  of  1887,  accompanied  by  Mrs. 
Bowie.  His  great  skill  as  a  physician  and  surgeon  and  his 
true  missionary  spirit  made  him  a  pillar  of  strength  to  the 
African  Mission,  and  his  death  is  deeply  deplored  alike 
by  Europeans  and  natives.  Always  kind  and  ready  to 
encoiuiter  every  danger  in  the  path  of  duty,  he  died  of 
diphtheria,  contracted  in  an  attempt  to  save  the  life  of  his 
sister's  infant  son  by  sucking  the  tracheotomy  tube  when 
the  child  was  dying  of  that  disease. 

Mrs.  Henry  Henderson,  born  Harriet  Bowie,  sister  of  Di\ 
Bowie  and  of  Mrs.  D.  C.  Scott,  was  married  and  went  out  to 
Africa  not  much  more  than  two  years  ago.  Of  a  bright  and 
happy  nature,  with  a  deep  under-current  of  religious  life,  and 
as  able  as  she  was  earnest,  she  was  peculiarly  fitted  for 
the  duties  of  a  missionary's  wife.  She  also  died  of  diphtheria, 
after  the  death  of  her  only  child.  Before  she  died,  Dr.  Bowie, 
then  himself  very  ill,  rose  from  bed  and  relieved  her  suffer- 
ings, though  he  could  not  save  her  life,  by  performing  the 
operation  of  tracheotomy  with  all  his  usual  skill. 

Mr.  Henry  Henderson  was  a  son  of  the  late  minister  of 
the  parish  of  Kinclaven,  and  passed  through  a  full  Arts 
course  at  the  University  of  Edinburgh.  He  was  for  some 
time  in  Australia,  and  there  a  career  was  opened  to  him 


which  would  probably  have  led  to  wealth.  But  when  the 
Church  of  Scotland  proposed  to  undertake  an  African 
Mission,  he  volunteered  to  be  pioneer  missionary ;  and  to 
him  is  due  the  selection  of  the  comparatively  healthy  Shire 
Highlands,  now  included  in  the  British  protectorate,  and 
forming  a  stronghold  from  which  the  country  can  be 
evangelised  and  civilised.  Bereft  of  wife  and  child,  he  set 
out  for  Europe,  taking  charge  of  Mrs.  Bowie  and  Miss 
Beck,  and  reached  Quilimane  apparently  in  good  healtli. 
But  there  he  became  ill  of  fever  on  9th  January,  and  died 
four  days  afterwards. 

Of  those  good  and  brave  missionaries  who  have  thus 
(lied  in  the  mission-field,  it  can  truly  be  said  that  there  was 
not  a  thought  of  self  in  any  one  of  them;  and  by  laying 
down  their  precious  lives  for  Africa,  they  have  pledged  the 
Church  of  Scotland  to  prosecution  of  their  noble  enterprise. 

The  Assembly  expresses  its  deepest  sympathy  with  the 
widowed  mother  of  Mr.  Cleland ;  with  Mrs.  Bowie,  senior, 
so  sorely  bereaved  of  her  children;  with  the  widow  and 
young  daughter  of  Dr.  John  Bowie;  with  Mrs.  David 
Clement  Scott;  and  with  the  other  sorrowing  relatives, 
and  commends  them  all  to  the  keeping  of  Almighty  God. 

Extracted  from  the  Eeconls  of  the  General  Assembly 
of  the  Church  of  Scotland  by  me, 

^yM.  1Mtlt,igan,  0.  Ecdos.  Scot. 


Just  Published. 
Small  Crowu  8vo,  price  Is. 


By  the  Kev,  J.  MURRAY  MITCHELL,  M.A.,  LL.D. 

"  A  gi'aphic  and  succinct  account,  statistical  and  otherwise,  of  the 
work  accomplished  by  the  several  Missionary  Societies." — Liverpool 

"It  is  simply  astonishing  that  so  clear  and  comprehensive  a 
resume  of  the  methods  and  conditions  of  Missionary  Enterprise 
should  be  compressed  into  such  small  compass.  This  book  should 
be  in  the  hands  of  all  who  are  interested  in  Missions." — Literary 

"A  very  useful  and  entertaining  little  work,  giving  a  general 
glance  at  the  present  condition  of  the  different  Pagan  religions,  and 
the  results  of  Christian  effort.  Dr.  Mitchell's  remarks  on  Mahom- 
medanism  and  Hinduism  are  interesting  in  the  light  of  recent  con- 
troversy.    The  book  deserves  a  warm  welcome." — Rock. 

"  Such  a  book  was  needed,  and  Dr.  Mitchell  has  met  the  need 
well." — Methodist  Recorder. 

"  We  trust  the  book  will  have  the  attention  it  deserves ;  and  that 
its  thoughtful  pages  may  call  forth  active  workers,  and  interest 
those  who  have  the  means  wherewith  more  workers  may  be  sent 
into  the  field." — Christian, 




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_^        DATE  DUE